Bluejay & Lady Jay Athletics
Bluejay Football: Coaching Staff
Jeff Linder is entering his 21st year as head coach of the Minnesota West Bluejays. Coach Linder has been the recipient of the Southern Division Coach of the Year award five times. In addition, he was named by the Minnesota Vikings as the 2004 College Coach of the Year. Coach Linder is a graduate of Worthington High School and Worthington Community College. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education from Bemidji State University and a Masters of Sport Management from the United States Sports Academy.
Assistant Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Offensive Line
Gene Lais is in his 25th year as an assistant coach with the Bluejays. Gene played two seasons of football for the Bluejays. He completed his B.S. degree at Mankato State University and is employed as a teacher at Worthington High School.
Assistant Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Backs, Linebackers
Scott Barber is in his 20th year as an assistant coach for the Bluejays. He played two seasons of football for the Bluejays. Coach Barber completed his B.S. degree in Social Studies at Mankato State University and his Master’s Degree in Education at Southwest State University. He has been teaching at the Worthington Middle School for the last twenty years.
Community Volunteer, Wide Receivers
Steve Bassett is in his 15th year as a community volunteer with the Bluejays. He played football for the Bluejays in 1969 prior to being drafted by the United States Army. Coach Bassett then served two years in Korea. He also coaches softball at Minnesota West.
Assistant Coach, Backs and Quarterbacks
Brad Holinka is in his fifth season as an assistant coach with the Bluejays. Brad was a three-sport athlete at Minnesota West. After two years as a Bluejay, Brad continued his athletic career at Mankato State University as a member of their football team. Brad received a degree in Physical Education and is in his 32nd year of teaching at Fulda High School.
Assistant Coach, Defensive Line
Bernie Strouth is returning to Bluejay football after a 12-year hiatus during which he was on the Bluejay men's basketball staff. This will be his l0th year coaching the defensive line. He has 28 years of total football coaching experience including being the head coach at Kimberly High School in Kimberly, Idaho, head coach and athletic director at DeSales High School in Walla Walla, Washington, and head coach at Plankinton High School in Plankinton, S.D. He also served as an assistant at Billings Central High School in Billings, Montana and at Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, Idaho. Strouth has a B. A. degree from Boise State University and a Master of Sports Science degree from the United States Sports Academy. He teaches Social Studies at Worthington High School.
Joel Krekelberg “Krek” is in his 29th season as athletic trainer for the Bluejays. After graduating from Mankato State University in 1978, he spent two summers with the New Orleans Saints. Following that, he worked seven years with the NFL Houston Oilers. In 1985, he returned to Worthington where he is a real estate appraiser. Krekelberg is the athletic trainer for all sports at Minnesota West as well as for Worthington High School.