HECTOR, Minn. (KMSP) - After 34 years of coaching and more than 635 wins, Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart High School volleyball coach Susan Alstrom is retiring after this season. The students and staff touched by her over the past three decades gave her the praise she’s deserved with a special surprise ahead of the team’s last season game Friday night.
Whether you talk to those she's inspired to go on to play college ball at a young age or those she’s coached this year, Alstrom has a permanent place in their hears.
“We never ever want her to think she's ever going to be forgotten so this is our way of saying thank you to her and honoring her,” Michelle Melberg, the BLHS High School Assistant Volley Ball Coach said.
Alstrom has not only won coach of the year twice, she's also the second woman to earn the George Hahn Leadership Award from the Minnesota State High School Association. Since 1989 she's taken the BLHS Mustangs to three state championships.
“When I think of Ms. A, I think of the program she's built and the number of kids like me she's helped grow to be just contributing young women,” Carrie Cullum, a former BLHS volleyball player, said.
As a teacher, coach and mentor, Alstrom is leaving a legacy that proves she’s a true ace.
“Literally she helped change my life by introducing me to sports and athletics she helped instill a deeper spirituality in my soul,” Samantha Nelson, another former BLHS volleyball player said.
Though her time as a high school coach is coming to an end, Alstrom says volleyball will always be in her life.