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Friday, August 22, 2014

Coach King moves up to big leagues

Published February 21st, 2014

The Assistant Athletic Performance Coach at UW-River Falls has recently left and is moving up to the big leagues to take his dream job coaching in major league baseball.

That coach is Andy King who was in his second year in the Falcon athletic performance department. He will be moving on to be a training coach for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The Volcanoes are a Class A-Short Season affiliate minor league baseball team of the San Francisco Giants, according to their official team web page volcanoesbaseball.com. They have been an affiliate to the Giants since 1997.

King said he found the job opening online, decided to apply and the team liked him enough to give him the opportunity.

“It is unfortunate I have to leave UWRF now, but this was too good of an opportunity to pass up,” King said.

From the time King goes to spring training until the time the season is over he will only have five days off.

“It is going to be busy. The team will play 74 games in 79 days,” King said.

King said his time at UWRF was excellent.

“I am proud of what the athletes accomplished. UWRF has good students and coaches and I one hundred percent believe in what we do,” King said.

Assistant Athletic Director Crystal Lanning said that King came up with the idea for the Falcon Cup which has helped to increase support among the student athletes. This is the first year that the Falcon Cup competition has happened at UWRF.

“Andy was a great addition to the staff. He worked well with the students and was always interested in finding more ways he could get involved with the student athletes and help out the department,” Lanning said.

Lanning said that King worked so well with the student athletes and will be greatly missed. At least two student athletes are in agreement with that statement.

“He was always really helpful in the weight room and will definitely be missed,” said junior women’s basketball player Hailey Siegle.

“We are going to miss Coach King and the energy he brought to the weight room. He is a great guy with an outstanding outlook and understanding of college athletics and what it takes to be successful,” sophomore quarterback Ryan Kusilek said.

Kusilek, a River Falls native, said he also knew that King played on the local baseball team called the Fighting Fish. “I know he had success playing for them and it was fun to watch your coach succeed on the field,” Kusilek said.

Before coming to UWRF, King had previously been the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Hartman Strength & Conditioning located in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was an assistant strength coach for the DeLaSalle High School basketball team and shortly held the same position at Cretin-Derham Hall High School for the football team. He also has baseball coaching experience at the Saints Sports Academy, the Big League Baseball Camp, at Seacrest Country Day School and the US Baseball Academy, according to his biography on uwrfsports.com.

“We can’t wish anything but the best for Andy. To get called up to the major leagues is a tremendous opportunity for him,” Lanning said.

King said he wanted to thank all the athletes and members of UWRF athletics for everything in his time here.

“We wish him the best of luck and know he just landed his dream job so we are nothing but happy for him,” Kusilek said.

With King taking his new position, Wayne Tuckson will now be starting his first year as a graduate assistant in athletic performance at UWRF.

Before coming to UWRF Tuckson was a defensive graduate assistant for the football team at Elmhurst College in the 2013 season where he had played the previous four years, according to his biography on uwrfsports.com. While at Elmhurst he was also a volunteer assistant strength coach for the football team. He earned four letters in football at Elmhurst. After his senior season he was named to the first all-conference team and to the second all-region team as an outside linebacker. After his junior season he was named to the second all-conference team. He earned his undergraduate degree from Elmhurst in May 2013 with double majors in criminal justice and philosophy.

“We feel that Wayne can come in here and work with the student athletes in a similar way Andy did,” Lanning said.

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