Former Gustavus volleyball coach Gretchen Koehler and former Gustavus gymnast and long-time gymnastics official Evie Erdman were presented the Special Merit Award at the Minnesota Girls and Women in Sports Day, which was held on Tuesday, February 1 at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. The event is sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic Leadership.
The award ceremony was conducted in conjunction with the 25th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day, a nationwide celebration recognizing the accomplishments of individuals in the promotion and advancement of girls’ and women’s sports. The 2011 ceremony honored 20 individuals who received awards in five separate categories. Award recipients were nominated by schools, community organizations, recreation centers, and amateur and professional sports organizations.
Special Merit Award – Gretchen Koehler, Gustavus Adolphus College – Koehler is one of the most beloved coaches in the history of the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s athletics program where she brought a great sense of humor, balanced perspective, and passion to hundreds of young women in a coaching career that spanned nearly 30 years. Koehler taught in the physical education department and served as head coach of the
volleyball, basketball, softball, and tennis teams. While she was successful in all her coaching endeavors, Koehler experienced the most success with the volleyball program, where she compiled an all-time record of 548-353-10 and when she retired from coaching in 1996, she ranked as the fifth-winningest coach in the history of Division III volleyball. She was the first women’s sport coach at Gustavus to take a team to the national tournament and claimed four conference titles during her tenure. Koehler is a member of two Hall of Fames and has served as a regional and national speaker at AAHPERD conventions.
Special Merit Award – Evie Erdman, Elysian – Erdman, is currently employed as a Scholarship Program Manager at Scholarship America in Saint Peter, Minn. Erdman has been a true leader in the gymnastics community in Minnesota for over 40 years. In a coaching capacity, she has worked with teams at New Ulm Turners, Mankato State University and Gustavus Adolphus College. Since 1980, she has focused her energies on officiating gymnastics at the high school and collegiate levels and has helped hundreds of students receive their Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) gymnastics official rating. Erdman has worked as a MSHSL official for nearly 40 years, while also serving as a MSHSL rules clinician for the past 25 years. As a meet organizer, Erdman has served as the director for numerous state and regional competitions including the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championships in 1990 and 2002. Erdman is a member of the Gustauvs Athletic Hall of Fame.