by Jim Boyle
The Elk River Area School Board has approved the appointment of Steven S. Hamilton as head football coach at Elk River High School for the 2011-12 season.
The appointment is on Step 2, Lane A of the Activities Cluster Schedule, which calls for him to be paid $6,362 for the assignment. His hire as a coach is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal background check.
Superintendent Mark Bezek said Hamilton will be hired on as a teacher, too, but the exact position won’t be known until later when the district has a handle on teacher retirements.
Bezek said the school district is getting a very good coach and a very good social studies teacher. The hope, Bezek said, is that Hamilton will land a job at Elk River High School.
Hamilton, 40, a Michigan native currently coaching at Woodlands High School in Cartersville, Georgia, after two previous stints in Michigan. He will finish out the school year in Georgia, but Bezek said he has heard the Elk River booster club is going to fly the coach up to Minnesota for a weekend.
Hamilton was chosen from a field of 50 applicants to succeed Mike Cross, who resigned after eight seasons. The 2010 Elk season was a struggle as the Elks went 0-9 after suspensions for a hazing incident depleted the starting lineup. Before that the Elks had five seasons of just one or two wins.
Hamilton started his coaching career in Michigan as offensive coordinator at Tawas Area for three years, then became head coach at Bad Axe for three years, and took them two their first two state appearances in 20 years.
He moved to Carlson High School in Gibraltar for seven years, taking them to one conference title and four state playoff trips, and the school’s first-ever playoff win. One team set school records for wins, points and shutouts. He was named Region Coach of the Year in 2006.
Hamilton then moved south and took over a struggling Woodlands program that went 1-10 the first year and 5-5 the second year. The last two years they were 3-7 each year, with just two seniors last fall. Ten of his players those four years got college scholarships, his resume states, and the offense he implemented averaged around 400 yards per game.