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McNamee, Thurston tabbed as new Wingers’ girls soccer coaches

Through the summer months, Paul McNamee and David Thurston have worked with the Red Wing youth soccer programs. Starting this fall, McNamee and Thurston will combine their efforts in hopes of leading the Wingers’ girls soccer team.

Early this week, Red Wing Activities Director Matt Schultz announced that McNamee and Thurston will be co-head coaches for the school’s girls soccer program.

“Both have a tremendous amount of soccer experience,” Schultz said. “From a program standpoint, the ability to get two people that are passionate about soccer is important to us. … Both offer something different, which will be fun, and some long-term sustainability is what we need to work on.”

The duo will replace Dusty Beckman, who left in late June to become the head girls soccer coach at Winona, his hometown. In Beckman’s two seasons, the Wingers had an 8-24 record.

Shortly after accepting the position, McNamee said he and Thurston met for five hours on what they hope to do to help lead the soccer team. McNamee is the Red Wing U15 boys soccer coach, while Thurston coached the Red Wing U17 girls soccer team.

“Luckily, David and I were already working together in the summer association,” McNamee said. “We saw that baseball was doing the co-coaching thing with (Paul) Hartmann coming in and helping (Jim) Bohmbach, and I think that’s a model that the school’s starting to see value in.”

Thurston added, “Our big talking point was that we have a very short amount of time to get our ducks in a row. We talked about coaching philosophies, and they meshed really well.”

Through the summer, McNamee and Thurston had combined practices to help the girls understand the co-coach dynamic.

“As co-coaches, we’ll split up, and divide and conquer,” Thurston said. “We’ve worked together in the past and know each other’s style.”

Having the co-coach setup aids McNamee, who teaches art at Middleton Elementary in Woodbury.

“Getting down (to Red Wing) in time for a 2:30 p.m. practice start would be impossible for Paul,” Schultz said. “It’s good for us that David’s in town, he’s here, and he can get practices started.”

“It’s going to be a good exercising compromise for us,” McNamee said. “I’m glad to have someone I get along with for this.”

The Wingers, who finished 5-12 last year, open the 2013 season Aug. 24 at home against Albert Lea.

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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