Dave Darr, who directed New Life Academy in Woodbury to back-to-back state titles, has been named the new baseball coach at Park High School.
Darr takes over for John McGowan, who resigned from that position this fall. McGowan served as the head coach of the Wolfpack since 2013. The 2021 team went 22-8 and finished second in the Class 4A state tournament.
“I appreciate all that John has done for our baseball program,” said Phil Kuemmel, Activities Director at Park. “The excitement and energy that was created by last year’s run through sections and the state tournament will never be forgotten. But John has accomplished much more than that and has done a great job continuing the great tradition and history of our baseball program.”
Darr is leaving his role as head coach of the New Life Academy team to take over the Wolfpack. While at New Life Dave led the Eagles to state championships in 2014 and 2015. He was named Class A state Coach of the Year in both years. Darr’s teams also won conference championships in 2017, 2016 and were three times section runner-ups.
“We were fortunate, we won a lot of ballgames,” said Darr. “We’ve been fortunate to have good players so we’ve been able to win a good amount of games.”
Darr is a special education teacher at Crestview Elementary in Cottage Grove.
“We are very lucky to have someone with coach Darr’s experience taking over our baseball program,” said Kuemmel. “Dave realizes the importance of building relationships with the players and teaching skills that will help them both on and off the field. His purpose as a coach includes instilling values such as integrity, perseverance, and responsibility, which will help Park’s student- athletes in both baseball and life. I know coach Darr looks forward to continuing the great success that we have had in our baseball program” Darr was born and raised in Redwood Falls, MN. He attended Southwest State in Marshall where he played baseball and earned a degree in psychology. He moved to Woodbury in 2011. He was the New Life JV baseball coach for a year before being named the head baseball coach in 2013. He coached the Eagles from 2013 to 2020.
“I really enjoyed my time at New Life but I wanted if I could coach in the district I was teaching in. It just makes things a lot easier,” said Darr.
Darr said he’s excited to be working with a strong nucleus of players return for the Wolfpack this season.
“I think the success they had last year, and from what I understand they’ve got a decent amount of kids coming back that were on that team,” Darr said. “They’re a year older, they know what to expect, they had that experience and my guess is they really want to get back there because it’s just a lot of fun. So you have that drive and that hunger and they kind of know what it takes to get there and do well. So I think we can hone in on that and tap into that.”
The Park Baseball Booster Club is planning a Meet and Greet for coach Darr with a date and time to be announced.