The Eden Prairie High School (EPHS) boys’ track and field team will have a new leader starting this spring. However, it’s a name that is quite familiar to those involved in EPHS track and field.
On July 29, the EPHS activities department announced that Zach Hanson was named the EPHS boys’ track and field coach. He’s not only an EPHS alum but has worked with both the track and field and cross country programs for nearly a decade.
“I am beyond excited and honored to carry on the tradition of excellence established with Eden Prairie Boys’ Track and Field,” Hanson said in a press release. “I look forward to working with our athletes, their families and the community to promote not only a strong Track and Field program but to motivate and support our student athletes to become the best possible version of themselves.”
Hanson ran both track and field and cross country as a student-athlete at EPHS. He graduated in 2008. From there, he attended college at the University of Iowa and graduated with his master’s degree in education from St. Catherine’s University.
For the past eight years, Hanson has been an assistant coach for EPHS Cross Country and Track and Field teams. He remains an assistant for the cross country team and will assume the new track and field title with his first season starting in 2023.
Hanson replaces Eric Gahr, who has moved on from the program following his acceptance of a teaching position at Rochester Century High School.
Besides his involvement with athletics, Hanson has been hired to teach math at EPHS.
“Zach’s passion for mentoring high school athletes through the sport of track and field stood out in his interview,” said EPHS Athletics Director Russ Reetz. “I am really excited to see him lead this program to even higher heights.”
Last season, the boys’ team finished seventh at the state meet, along with the 4×200 relay team winning a state championship.
“We have an incredible group of young men coming up through the program right now, and I am excited to build on and amplify that success in the years ahead.”