Rockford’s Dawn Engebretson given Breaking Barriers award



Dawn Engebretson from Rockford Area Schools was presented a “Breaking Barriers” award by the Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic Leadership, Feb. 6 at the State Capitol rotunda in St. Paul.

The event was part of the Minnesota celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, a time to celebrate and to recognize leaders and athletes, plus to look to the future.

Dawn Engebretson
Dawn Engebretson

The Breaking Barriers Award is presented annually to people or organizations that have broken barriers and/or made an impact in providing athletic opportunities for girls and women in your community.

The nomination letter said Engebretson exemplifies the definition of the Breaking Barriers Award in her passion for providing athletic opportunities for girls in the Rockford Area.

Dawn began her career in 1992-93 when she was a substitute teacher in Rockford and the gymnastic coaching position was going unfilled. She stepped up to fill the position in order for the girls to participate.

Coincidentally, Engebretson coached a gymnast to the state tournament in 1992. From 2005-10, she was the Rockford head volleyball coach. During her tenure she started a youth Junior Olympic volleyball program and an elementary volleyball camp. Both programs provided much needed skill-building and playing opportunities to the young volleyball enthusiasts in the area.

Beginning in 1991, Engebretson volunteered as a junior high softball coach, later earning the Rockford Area head softball coach position in 1997. During her time as head coach, she has served five years as the MSHSL 5A Girls Section Representative, been selected to coach in three High School All-Star Softball Series, been named Central Minnesota Conference head coach of the year and has over 200 softball wins.

When asked why she is so involved, she says, “I used to be only focused on MY TEAM, but now can see things that need to be done for the good of all girls playing sports.”