A dispute following Minnetonka's decision not to renew girls tennis coach Brent Lundell's contract for a third season is in the hands of attorneys and will be presented to the Minnetonka school board.
Lundell coached the Skippers to back-to-back Class 2A team championships since he was hired to lead the Minnetonka girls program in 2021 following the death of longtime coach Dave Stearns.
Lundell is also the boys tennis head coach at Eden Prairie, where he has coached for seven years, the first four as an assistant coach. It's possible to coach boys and girls teams because boys play a spring season and girls play in the fall. Last fall, Lundell used a current Eden Prairie player to help with his duties with the Minnetonka girls team. He believes that might have contributed to Minnetonka's decision to not renew his contract.
"There was talk that it may have violated [MSHSL] rules with a player getting coaching out of season," he said. "But he wasn't getting coaching. And he wasn't getting better, just feeding balls to the girls. And our athletic director signed off on it when he started and said he didn't see a problem with it."
In a recent email Lundell sent to the Star Tribune, he said a meeting between Lundell's attorney and an attorney representing the Minnetonka school district resulted in a concession from the Minnetonka administration that there was no violation of rules or bylaws and that the "nonrenewal was based on me and not about not communicating … about me coaching EP this year."
"The irony is that I was a coach at Eden Prairie long before I took the job at Minnetonka," Lundell said.
Minnetonka officials would not comment on the case because it involves an employee.
Lundell said he's telling his side of the issue to set the record straight.
"I'm fighting for this for two reasons," he said. "One, the girls tennis team deserves to have someone who wants to coach them, not someone waiting for a boys job to open up. And two, I took the job to help develop the players and have a positive influence on them."
The meeting with the school board is expected to take place June 5 or 6.