Walters Named Athletics Coach Fairmont | News, Sports, Jobs


STRATEGIC TALKS — Fairmont assistant coaches Stew Murfield (left) and Jesse Walters chat during a regular-season track meet last spring. Walters was officially named the Cardinals’ head athletic coach at the Fairmont School District board meeting on Tuesday. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — It’s official.

Jesse Walters was named head athletics coach of the Fairmont Cardinals when the school board approved the motion at Tuesday’s meeting.

“Jesse is a country boy” said Fairmont Chief Operating Officer Mat Mahoney. “He helped the 2008 (boys track and field) team win a state championship under coach (Bob) Bonk. He’s so proud of the school and the community. The kids will trust him. »

Walters, 33, replaces Bob Bonk, who retired earlier this summer. Bonk has spent over 50 years coaching the boys’ and girls’ spring programs.

Walters had been one of Bonk’s assistant track coaches since 2017, when he returned to Fairmont from the Minneapolis area.

Walters raced under Bonk from 2005 to 2008. The 2008 Fairmont team won the Minnesota State High School League Class A Tag Team Championship when Walters was a senior.

Fairmont finished with 52 points, followed by Glencoe-Silver Lake with 33 and St. Croix Lutheran with 32.

“Jesse and I would spend hours between meetings talking about the track,” says Bonk. “I’m very excited for him and I think he will do a great job.”

Walters was a member of Fairmont’s 4×400 and 4×800 teams that posted the second- and sixth-fastest times in school history, clocking 3:22 and 8:08, respectively.

“He always loved being a track athlete, whether in high school or college,” says Bonk. “He has a lot of experience in the sport. He’s also such a nice person.

“I want to continue the 50-year Fairmont tradition that Coach Bonk instilled in this program and continue Coach Bonk’s 50-year Fairmont success,” Walters said. “I will put new pirouettes on the program. I learned a lot about family from Coach Bonk. I want to instill being part of a family with the kids when I’m the new head coach. Coach Bonk taught me a lot about being part of a family and I hope I can do the same with my track children.

Walters is the hometown athlete who ran track at Fairmont High School, graduated in 2008, and ran sprints for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls from 2009 to 2012. He was a member the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Scholastic Honor Roll in 2009 and 2011, as well as a 2010 and 2011 member of the WIAC All-Indoor Athletic Team.

“I did everything the coach asked of me” Walters said.

As a collegiate, Walters ran the 100 meters in 11.7 seconds, the 200 in 23.66 and the 400 meters in 51.39.

Walters earned a degree in environmental science at UW-River Falls and now works for the Martin Soil and Water Conservation District, helping landowners increase the productive use of cropland, pasture, woodland and urban land while maintaining soil base, water quality, tree production and wildlife production, according to the Martin SWCD website.

Walters has been involved in football and track and field since he started the sport in high school.

Step back more than a decade and Walters coaches junior varsity football in the fall, as well as athletics at his alma mater in the spring.

Walters and his wife Krysten have an 18-month-old son, Chase, and are expecting their second child this month.

“I hope my children will be part of my athletics program here at Fairmont,” Walters said. “I give Coach Bonk a lot of credit.

“The coaching track is something I love and I can’t wait for the season to start.”



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