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Pequot Lakes hires community education director: Spiczka will also serve as boys' basketball coach

Richard Spiczka has been hired as Pequot Lakes Community Education director, and will also serve as the Pequot Lakes Patriots high school varsity boys basketball coach.

Rich Spiczka
Rich Spiczka

Richard Spiczka has been hired as Pequot Lakes Community Education director, and will also serve as the Pequot Lakes Patriots high school varsity boys basketball coach.

Spiczka has been the varsity boys basketball coach for the Sauk Rapids-Rice Storm and also that district's middle school activities director.

"I love the idea of being able to work both in community ed and continue to coach," Spiczka said Tuesday, May 17. "They are both great passions of mine. The ability to do both (jobs) in one place was very appealing."

Spiczka added that he was impressed by many things about the Pequot Lakes opportunity.

"As a family, we are very fortunate to have been in the great place (Sauk Rapids) and now we have the opportunity to go to another great place in Pequot Lakes," he said. "The strength of the (Pequot Lakes) school system was of large appeal. We also want to make sure we are not just moving our family for a job, but rather moving them to a great place to live."

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Spiczka will succeed the retiring Julie Despot as community education director.

"It is an exciting opportunity for me professionally," Spiczka said. "Community education is something that has always been a part of my professional life, and I have fond memories of it as a participant. I'm looking forward to continuing the great opportunities that Pequot Lakes Community Education provides. I'm hopeful I can bring some great ideas to share from my past experiences."

Last season with Ben Starns serving as head coach, the Patriots finished 14-14 overall after losing to Esko in the second round of the South Subsection Section 7AA boys' basketball playoffs.

"I love coaching," said Spiczka, whose Storm boys basketball team finished 15-11 last year. "You can have such a great impact on young people as a coach. I enjoy helping young people prepare to become productive and responsible adults, and I thoroughly enjoy using basketball to do that. I have a passion for the game and the environments it creates."

Spiczka added that he likes the enthusiasm for basketball in Pequot Lakes.

"Everyone tells me that the town is crazy about basketball, and I am excited to be able to be a part of that," he said. "When we took a tour (of Pequot Lakes) last week, there were a bunch of kids in the gym on a Friday after school was out, which a coach loves to see. I'm excited to get to know the players, their families and the youth participants as well."

"Rich brings a lot of experience for our community education department with all of his organizational and administrative experience," said Pequot Lakes activities director Marc Helmrichs. "We're excited to have him join our (basketball) team after building up the Sauk Rapids (Rice) program over the past five years."

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