ELY – Memorial High School football’s biggest supporter, Coach Cory Lassi, is turning in his whistle and clipboard after more than a decade on the sidelines.“For the past 11 years, …
ELY – Memorial High School football’s biggest supporter, Coach Cory Lassi, is turning in his whistle and clipboard after more than a decade on the sidelines.
“For the past 11 years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to be on the sideline as an assistant and head coach of the Ely Timberwolves football team,” Lassi said in announcing his decision last week.
The 2004 Ely High School graduate was a former Timberwolf football standout, and played for Vermilion Community College for two years prior to transferring to St. Cloud State to earn his education degree.
“My first year teaching elementary school in Ely was also my first year of coaching,” he said. Lassi played a key role in a decade-long resurgence of the Ely high school football program, including state tournament appearances in 2012, 2013, and 2015. He was an assistant for eight years and stepped into the head coach position three years ago.
Lassi said he is moving on from coaching to spend more time with his family, including a daughter born just before Thanksgiving. He and his wife, Missy, also have a two-year-old son.
“During those 11 seasons, I have grown in so many ways as a teacher, a coach, and as a person,” he said. “I have taken away so many wonderful relationships with former and current coaches, players, managers and families. I have been able to create memories that I will bring with me the rest of my life. As Missy and I waited for the arrival of our daughter, I can’t help but to think how lucky I am to have such an amazing family. The only regret that I have from my years coaching is missing out on time with my family,” he said.
The Timberwolves are coming off a 2020 campaign that was initially delayed to a spring schedule, then re-instated to a late fall start because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ely ended the shortened season with a 3-2 record.
The team finished above .500 for the first time in three years, and was knocked out of the Section 7 playoffs by Bigfork. Just a couple of days later, Lassi submitted his resignation. “After days of thinking, I have decided to make a difficult but right decision for me and my family. I am resigning from my position as head coach so I can focus my attention on my beautiful, growing family,” he wrote.
“My number one job right now is being here for my family and I want to make sure I am,” Lassi said. “To be a head coach you have to give 100 percent of your time and effort and put everything into the program, and not just the months of August through October, but all those off-season months, too.”
Lassi did not close the door completely on coaching again.
“I’ll be honest, it was hard to walk away. It left a weird feeling. And I don’t think I’ve coached my last game,” he said.