Bluejay & Lady Jay Athletics
Bluejay Football: Coaching Staff
Jeff Linder is entering his 23nd year as head coach of the Minnesota West Bluejays. Coach Linder has been the recipient of the Southern Division Coach of the Year award six 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.
Steve Bassett is in his 17th 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.
Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
Ben DeVries enters his 11th season as offensive line coach and 2nd as offensive coordinator for the Bluejays. Ben played football for the Bluejays in 2000-01 and then went on to coach at Spirit Lake High School 2003-04. He joined the Bluejay coaching staff in 2005. He coaches in the SPFL and has won six consecutive championships and two national championships.
Backs and Quarterbacks
Brad Holinka enters his 7th 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 35th year of teaching at Fulda HS.
Connor Kunkel enters his 1st season as an intern assistant coach with the Bluejays. Coach Kunkel is a 2013 graduate of Luverne High School. Kunkel played football for the Bluejays in 2013 and 2014. During the 2014 season Kunkel was named to the All-Academic Team and also the MCAC All-Division Honorable Mention Team. After two years at Minnesota West, Kunkel continued his football career and education at the University of Minnesota Crookston. He is working on completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management.
Backs and Linebackers
Tyler Skow rejoins the Minnesota West coaching staff for his 4th season after previously serving as assistant to former defensive coordinator Scott Barber. Coach Skow is a 2005 graduate of Jackson County Central where here played offensive line and defensive linebacker. He was named to the All-Conference team. Skow continued his football career at Minnesota West where he was a starting linebacker for the 2005 and 2006 seasons and was named to the All–MCCC team both seasons.
Joel Krekelberg “Krek” is in his 31st 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.