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Benilde-St. Margaret's has made a high-profile hire to take over its football program, tapping former Wayzata coach Brad Anderson to become the team's head coach and oversee the entire football program, grades 7 through 12.

Anderson was the head coach at Wayzata for 18 years, compiling a 156-47 record and leading the Trojans to state championships in 2005, 2008 and 2010. He stepped down after the 2016 season.

Anderson is replacing Sean McMenomy, whose contract as head coach was not renewed after three years heading up the program. McMenomy, who was named the Coach of the Year in Class 4A, Section 5 after guiding the Red Knights to the section championship and a berth in the Class 4A quarterfinals, remains an assistant athletic director at the school.

Anderson said he didn't anticipate any problems working with McMenomy.

"I see Sean as a valuable resource," Anderson said. "I'd be a fool not to go and ask him what he thinks."

Anderson, a Wayzata graduate, left the school after a change in his job responsibilities made it difficult to continue his coaching responsibilities.

"I was an administrator in the Wayzata district, and my job at the time had me working in all 13 buildings in the district," Anderson said. "I had fewer and fewer eyes and ears in the high school, and I felt I couldn't do the job to the level it needed to be done."

The urge to coach again became too hard to ignore about three years ago, Anderson said. He took a volunteer position coaching offense at Orono and was hired as the Spartans' offensive coordinator, a position in which he remained for the past two years.

In the meantime, Anderson reached the Rule of 90 in the Wayzata district, allowing him to retire. The Rule of 90 is an early retirement provision that allows a person to retire with full benefits when their age and years of service add up to or exceed 90. Thoughts of becoming a head coach again surfaced.

"My daughters were grown up, and I had more time," Anderson said. "I wasn't looking to become a head coach, but when this job opened up, I was intrigued."

Not only was the timing right, but Anderson felt the school checked all the boxes for a program that could be successful.

"Benilde has had a lot of successful sports programs, and I expect the football program to be no different," Anderson said. "It's a great place to be with a lot of support. We will be successful, and we expect it to come soon."

Anderson, officially hired Jan. 31, is thrilled to be a head coach again.

"I'm enjoying it. I love the challenge," he said. "A football program is more than just calling plays on offense and defense on Friday nights. We do a lot more, like team bonding, team building and connecting with the community. I just met with the team, and what I told them is, 'This is who I am.' I'm a coach. I'm a teacher. I believe in passing positive values along, and I can't think of a better way to do that than leading these young men."