Third on all-time win list, Mike Randolph named head coach at St. Thomas Academy

One of the most successful coaches in Minnesota high school hockey history has a new home. Duluth legend Mike Randolph has officially been hired as head coach at St. Thomas Academy. The school made the hiring official on Monday.

Randolph’s 671 career wins trail only former Rochester Mayo coach Lorne Grosso (707) and former Albert Lea coach Roy Nystrom (705) on Minnesota high school hockey’s all-time wins list.

Randolph joined the Cadets last season after spending 32 seasons building Duluth East into a perennial powerhouse.

He resigned his position in Duluth last June citing parental pressure and lack of support from administration and eventually signed on as an assistant with St Thomas Academy.

Randolph served as associate head coach alongside Trent Eigner, but emerged as a favorite for the head coaching job after Eigner’s contract was unexpectedly not renewed last month after three seasons at STA.

“It was just a matter of getting to know the higher-ups in the school and seeing if it’s the right fit, and I felt really good about the fit,” Randolph said. “I’m going to make what I think, along with my assistant coaches, what we think is the best decision for the team. That’s been the case since I’ve been coaching and that’ll carry on down there as well.”

Randolph says he’s received plenty of support as he prepares to step back into coaching.

“Seniors that are graduating at St. Thomas, players coming back, parents from all over, players from this area, parents, and the support has been overwhelming,” Randolph shared. “It’s very humbling to know that many people follow your career and are really pulling for you.”

Since moving to Class AA in 2013, the Cadets have made the state tournament six times and have faced Duluth East twice on the state stage. The Greyhounds won their meeting in 2015. St. Thomas earned the win in their 2019 meeting.

Randolph does hope to take his new team back up north once a year, or once every other year, to face northern powers Hermantown, Grand Rapids, Moorhead and others in coming seasons.

Material from WDIO-TV Sports was used in this report