Like a hearty laugh or the sports page in the morning, it’s inevitable that some things will be passed down from a parent to child. For Maple Grove’s Leyse family, that trait was the art of coaching.
Dave Leyse has coached in the Osseo High School boys’ golf program for more than a dozen years, and now his son, Jon, has joined the ranks as coach. It makes little difference to Dave that it’s for the rival Maple Grove High School golf team.
“It’s pretty neat to be able to talk golf with my dad,” Jon says. “We’ll talk coaching strategies here and there, swap some stories, we’ll check in on each other’s programs. It’s a lot of fun.”
While Dave has already cemented himself as an established golf coach in the area, Jon’s tenure is just starting. After coaching in Maple Grove High School’s girls’ basketball program for seven years, Jon decided to accept the responsibility of heading JV boys’ golf in the spring of 2016.
“Coaching isn’t a new thing for me,” Jon says. “I’m in my seventh season coaching basketball and I’ve coached in the football program, too. Golf was a lot of fun last year and I’m excited for the new season.”
Jon graduated from Maple Grove High School in 2008 and went on to study elementary education at St. Cloud State. Since graduating from college, he has worked as a paraprofessional at Maple Grove High School, working with students with special needs. While juggling teaching and coaching opportunities, Jon is also pursuing a master’s degree from Saint Mary’s University in Winona.
“I’m staying busy, that’s for sure,” Jon says. “Between work and school, things get a little hectic, but I really enjoy coaching so it never feels like too much.”
If Jon ever questions his coaching style when it comes to golf, Dave is always right there to lend an ear. Since Osseo High School and Maple Grove High School Golf programs attend the same competitions, the teams will often ride the same bus, making it easy for the Leyse men to talk shop.
“My dad is a true professional. He really knows his stuff when it comes to golf,” Jon says. “It’s been awesome having him around to not only coach me throughout the years, but also help me learn the ropes as a coach.”
As far as Dave’s golf acumen goes, Jon wasn’t kidding. Dave is the registered golf pro at the local Sundance Golf Course in Osseo. So, what is it that makes Dave such a great coach? With such a respected career and his role as local golf pro, he has to be doing something right.
“My dad’s greatest quality as a coach is definitely the fact that he tells it like it is,” Jon says. “He’s never going to dance around the problem or try to sugar coat it. He wants his players to play the best round that they can every time they go out.”
As Jon tries to retain some of his dad’s best coaching attributes while creating some of his own, one thing is certain: the Maple Grove and Osseo schools are getting two high-caliber coaches who care about their teams and about a competetive round of golf.