FARGO — For the first time in 30 years, Fargo Shanley will not have Don Johnson coaching either golf programs.
"I just thought it was time," Johnson said. "It was long enough. Shanley will be in good hands. I want to spend more time in Arizona and play some more golf myself."
Johnson, 77, first began coaching at Shanley in 1987 and has been there ever since, coaching his own son and a couple of his grandchildren along the way. He retired after this season, wanting no attention on him as he left the Deacons. He led Shanley girls golf to four state championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and another in 1996. He led Shanley boys golf to state championships in 1998, 2011, 2014 and 2016.
He worked for the Moorhead Fire Department for 36 years, serving as assistant chief for the final 12 and retiring in 2000.
"I was out at the Fargo Country Club recently and three of my players came up to me and called me coach," Johnson said. "They told me how they were playing. You gotta miss it. I did it for the love of the kids. They got some good kids coming up too. I wish I could stick around and watch them mature. I'm going to miss it."
It began official Friday, as Shanley announced the hiring of Shari McTaggart to take over the girls golf program and Brock Ellingson to take over the boys program.
McTaggart is a Perham, Minn., native and has been coaching golf at various levels for over 12 years, serving as the Shanley assistant coach for the last three years.
"As a member of the Shanley teaching staff, she promotes our school's culture and key virtues ever day and is in the building to be continually working with our students," Shanley athletic director Michael Breker stated in a press release.
Ellingson is a student at Minnesota State Moorhead. He won two team state golf championship as a golfer with Fargo South, serving as a captain and earning all-state honors during those years. He played collegiate golf for two years at Iowa Central in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. He's coached for three years and was the assistant coach at Shanley this season.
"His passion for the activity of golf is unquestionable," Breker stated in a press release.