WARRIOR FOOTBALL COACHING STAFF
Coach Freed is beginning his fourth season at the helm for the Brainerd Warrior Football Program. Prior to this, Freed was the defensive coordinator for the past 11 seasons and spent one season as the Lead JV Coach for the Warriors. Born and raised in Iowa, he was a graduate of Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School and would go on to play at Luther College where he was a 4-year starter, team captain, and all conference player. Prior to coming to Brainerd, he spent six seasons at Houston High School. while he turned a struggling program around by taking the school to back to back state tournaments with the highlight being winning the 9-man state championship in 2008. Coach Freed was Minnesota Vikings State Coach of the Year, and also was selected to coach in the 2009 Minnesota High School All Star Game.
Coach Freed and his wife, Emilee, are both educators at Brainerd High School and have two daughters, Macin and Hayden. Coach Freed’s favorite Warrior Football Memory is not just a single game or event, but the 14 years of working with so many Warrior athletes and helping them reach their full potential both on and off the field. The relationships you build and going to work everyday in preparing for your opponent and finding ways to continually improve yourself is what really is important.
Warrior PRIDE is a concept that Coach Freed strongly believes in as the core beliefs of what Warrior Football stands for from your time in BYAA all the way through your senior year and farther on into life. The idea behind Warrior PRIDE is a five pronged approach that can not only be applied to what they do on the field of play, but also in the off-season, within the classroom, in the community, at home, and most importantly a foundation that young men can take with them into their future beyond Brainerd High School.
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR/ QB's
Coach Nelson, a 1994 Brainerd graduate, will be starting his 24th season coaching Brainerd Warrior Football. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics Education from Moorhead State University and his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Southwest Minnesota State University. Coach Nelson is also entering his 11th season as the head girls basketball coach. He teaches math (Geometry and Advanced Math Topics) at Brainerd High School.
Troy and his wife Angie, 1997 BHS graduate, an ISD 181 School Readiness Preschool teacher. The Nelson’s have two children, Myah and Ty. Coach Nelson’s favorite Warrior football memories are the 2009, come-from-behind, overtime win vs. Centennial in the State Quarterfinals and coaching so many great Warriors the last 20 years. Coach Nelson believes that Warrior PRIDE is how we do things both on and off the football field, and it is the foundation our successes are built on.
WR & SPECIAL TEAMS
Coach Marcelo, was born and raised in a small Gulf Coast Texas town, Texas City, Texas. He played football (QB/WR) as a 3-year letterman, and won a Texas High School 4A Division I State Championship at the Astrodome in 1997 his junior year. The following year he was voted as one of the 1998 Team Captains. This will be Coach Marcelo’s 7th season with the Warriors. With the Warriors, Coach Marcelo has coached both QBs and WRs. He also coached football (QB/WR) in San Antonio, TX with the Roosevelt Rough Riders. Coach Marcelo graduated college with a political science degree from Texas State University. This will be his 8th year in education and athletics. He taught American Sign Language for four years and he is currently teaching special education at Mille Lacs Academy in Onamia.
He and his wife Alexis, a BHS math teacher, have two beautiful children, Atreyu and Aralyn. Coach Marcelo’s favorite Warrior memory is being warmly accepted in his first season with the Warriors and being able to coach the Warriors in the semifinals at US Bank Stadium. Warrior PRIDE for Coach Marcelo is about a mindset that not only works on the football field, but also in everyday life. If the Warriors live with that PRIDE and own it, they will continuously move forward and pave the way for success.
Coach Haapajoki, a 1995 Brainerd graduate, will be starting his 24th year in education. He has coached multiple sports at the high school level, including being a head coach. Coach Hop, a former 3 sport athlete and 1995 Baseball State Champion, will be the offensive line coach and brings 20 years of experience to the staff. He is known for his positive attitude and high energy , and focuses on relationship building, which is a big part of Warrior football. Coach Hop and his wife Jessica, have two children, Brynn and Hakon.
They are very passionate about Warrior PRIDE and being involved in our community. Having a B.S. in Special Education and an M.S. in Educational Leadership we are proud to have Coach Hop and his family on our staff.
RB'S/ LEAD JV COACH
Coach Stumpf, a 2004 Brainerd Graduate, will be entering his 15th season as an assistant coach for the Brainerd Warrior Football program. Previously he has served as an assistant offensive line coach but this will be his second year serving as Lead JV Coach. Coach Stumpf played football at Concordia College, continuing his athletic career as a running back and obtaining a B.A. in Accounting with a minor in Economics. He served his community as a public accountant for nine years until taking a position with Artesian Homes, currently as Financial Controller.
Coach Stumpf shows his Warrior PRIDE by being passionate about developing strong relationships with our athletes and empowering them to believe in themselves. John, Tami and their family have a deep belief in donating their time, talents and resources to improve our Brainerd Community.
Coach Andy has been serving as a teacher in the Brainerd School District for 30 years and is entering his 32nd season of coaching for the Warriors. He is a graduate of Willmar High School and received his B.A. from Gustavus in Health, Physical Education, Adaptive Physical Education, and Special Education. While at Gustavus he earned All Conference Honors as a nose guard. From there he went on to earn his M.S. from St. Thomas. In addition to his coaching duties and also serves as the high
school equipment manager and has assisted with the strength program. Aron and his wife Lea have two daughters Ara and Ella.
Coach Anderson is a proud grandpa to Millie who lives in Florida with her parents Brent and Kasey. His best memories are the moments when you see the team come together, dig deep, care about one another, and develop into the quality people every community needs. This to Aron is Warrior PRIDE.
STRENGTH/ SPECIALISTS COACH
Coach McElfresh is a 2014 graduate of Brainerd High School where he played football, baseball, and basketball. He went on to punt for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology degree. After graduation Logan began working in the sports performance field with a company called ETS performance. He was in charge of Woodbury High Schools strength and conditioning program for all sports and also helped coach the kickers and punters.
He moved back to the Brainerd Lakes Area and is very excited to be here. Logan is in his 4th season and works with the TE's, kickers and punters.
Coach McElfresh believes Warrior PRIDE is giving everything you have at all times for the guy next to you. As well as doing the right thing at all times striving to be a better person, student, and football player every day.
Coach McKinley is entering his 4th year as the defensive backs coach for the Warriors. He graduated from Hutchinson High School in 2013 and went on to St. Cloud State University where he graduated with a B.S. in Special Education. He also played football at the collegiate level while he attended SCSU. McKinley is a teacher at the Middle Level Alternative Program (MLAP) in the Brainerd School District.
What PRIDE means to coach McKinley is being the best you can be on and off the field and being there for one another through the ups and downs of life.
OFFENSIVE LINE/ JV ASST.
Coach Brisk played for Pierz High School. After high school he attended Central Lakes College where he was a 2-year starter on the offensive line. While at CLC he received his Welding and Fabrication Diploma, and Robotic Welding Certificate. He then continued his education and athletic career at Valley City State in North Dakota. While attending VCS, he started Offensive line and obtained a B.A. in Career and Technical Education. He is in his 6th year teaching at Brainerd High School and was an assistant offensive line coach last year at Central Lakes College.
Coach Feierabend, a 2000 Brainerd graduate, will be starting his 4th year in coaching as an assistant coach working with the Inside Linebackers. Coach Feierabend was born and raised in Brainerd and was a 3 sport Captain for the Warriors. After High School, Coach Feierabend pursued his passion of continuing to play football and went on to play at Bemidji State University and became a Captain and All-Conference linebacker his Senior Year. At Bemidji State University he received his B.S. degree in Construction Management and is now an owner and the General Manager of Hy-Tec Construction in Brainerd. He and his wife Thea, have three children, Archie, Elsa and Ida, all of whom are being groomed as future Warriors!
DEFENSIVE LINE/ JV ASST.
Coach Erickson brings 41 years of teaching and coaching experience to the Warrior Football program. His first year coaching in Brainerd is his seventh year as an Applied Technology teacher at BHS. Prior to his move to Brainerd, he taught and coached in Milaca, MN and Rhinelander-Elcho, WI. Mark and his wife Kari have three children:
Originally from Mendota, IL Coach Erickson continued his education and FB career at Illinois Valley Community College where he was a two year starter on a nationally ranked team and earned All-Conference recognition. He transferred to Winona State University where he again was a two year starter, senior co-captain, earned All-Conference honors as a Defensive Lineman and stayed on to coach as a Graduate Assistant for a season.
Coach Erickson believes football is about more than X's and O's. It's about learning personal strengths and weaknesses. It's about building a team. It's about learning how to work together toward a common goal and it's about learning how to win at life.
OFFENSIVE LINE/ VOL COACH
Coach LeMieur is a 1994 graduate of Little Falls High School where he played Center for the Flyers. After High School, Jonathan went on to play Center at Itasca Community College then transferred to St. John’s and played Center for the Johnnies under the legendary John Gagliardi. He graduated from St. John’s in 1999 with a BA in Management. Jonathan is the VP of Lending at Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union and resides in Baxter with his wife and 3 daughters. Jonathan is also a member of the Brainerd Sports Boosters Board and is a firefighter for the Brainerd Fire Department. Jonathan will assist with the Offensive Line and this will be his 1st year with the Warriors.
Jonathan is passionate about improving the skills of our OL and is excited to coach our youth and help them to become better players and men.
Coach Ring was a 2009 BHS graduate starting 3 years at inside LB under head coach Ron Stolski. During his time at Brainerd High School he was awarded All-Conference, All-Section, and All-State. Colby was a 2008 Mr. Football finalist and played in the 2009 MSHL All-Star game.
Coach Ring continued his football after BHS with a stand out career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where accolades included All-Conference, All-Super Region, All-American and 2010 DII Football National Champion. Colby lives in Baxter with his wife Nadine and two children.