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Duluth coach resigns, cites 'parental pressure' and no 'administrative support'

Mike Randolph's historic career at Duluth East ended abruptly this week.

One of the state's most recognizable hockey coaches says he is stepping down because of "parental pressure" and a lack of "administrative support." 

Speaking to media and supporters at the Duluth Heritage Center on Friday morning, Mike Randolph formally announced his resignation as head coach of the Duluth East High School boys hockey team. 

Randolph didn't take questions, saying he wanted to focus on the positive memories from his 36 years as a head coach, including 32 at Duluth East. But while thanking the parents of players over his three-plus decades, he did call out the behavior of some parents.

"Sadly, there are those who try to ruin it for others. We all know what's going on here. Coaches across the state are being run out by parental pressure, the most recent is Lakeville South and Brainerd. And now me. This is getting tiresome, but the number of supportive parents always far outweighed the others," said Randolph. 

Randolph noted the recent resignations of Dave Aus and Janne Kivilhalme at Brainerd and Lakeville South, respectively. 

"Up until recently, it's been rewarding and fun. But when negatives start to outweigh the positives, it gets to be exhausting and no longer worth the time I put into it," he continued. "I've given my all, each and every year. But without administrative support it's a losing battle that is tiring and takes the joy out of it."

According to the Duluth News Tribune, Duluth Public Schools confirmed that Randolph "had been under investigation most of this spring after complaints were filed against him." Details beyond that, however, have not been provided. 

Randolph coached Duluth East from 1988-2003, and again from 2004-2021, leading the Greyhounds to 18 state tournament appearances, including Class AA championships in 1995 and 1998. Duluth East also lost in the championship game six times under Randolph. His 658 career wins rank third in Minnesota high school history.

"I've obviously been through a lot of emotions these past few days," said Randolph, saying the press conference was the "best way to bring closure." 

You can watch the entire press conference here

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