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Eagan hires football coach, filling void created when ex-Gopher Foggie withdrew under pressure

By Jim Paulsen, Star Tribune, 06/07/16, 6:45PM CDT


Ben Hanson, formerly an assistant at St. Thomas Academy, was introduced to the team on Tuesday. Rickey Foggie expressed frustration with the outcome but wished Hanson well.

Eagan High School has hired Ben Hanson as head coach of its varsity football team next season, filling a void that tentatively been filled by former Gopher Rickey Foggie until he withdrew his name last month.


Hanson, a former assistant coach at St. Thomas Academy, was introduced to the team on Tuesday. Hanson's hiring is "pending completion of a background check and signing a one-year agreement for the assignment, same as all high school coaching jobs,'' said Tony Taschner, communications director for Independent School District 196.

The coaching position became open after Rick Sutton resigned after leading the program for 10 seasons. Foggie, a University of Minnesota quarterback in the mid-1980s, was hired on May 13 to fill it.

Foggie said he was asked to resign 10 days later after a group of Eagan supporters put together a case against him surrounding a follow and like of a Twitter account linked to a pornographic website.

'Accidental follow' on Twitter leads to Foggie's resignation

Foggie vowed to keep fighting for the job and met with the Independent School District 196 Superintendent’s office last week. He said he was notified Tuesday that he was no longer a candidate.

“I told my side of the story [at the meeting],” Foggie said. “I got an email today that they weren’t going to reinstate me.”

Foggie said he was frustrated and disappointed in the outcome.

“I really don’t think people understand that the reason I coach is to give back to kids,” he said. “I made a mistake and owned to it and to have a group of parents go out and try to ruin my reputation because I wasn’t the guy they preferred just isn’t right. I will rebound and keep giving back to the community like I have for been doing for the last 30 years.”

Foggie, who resigned as the football coach at Red Wing to take the Eagan job, said he would likely take the year off from coaching. He added that he has no hard feelings for Hanson.

“I wish him the best,” Foggie said. “He had nothing to do with the process.”

Jim Paulsen • 612-673-7737

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