Cotter Schools conducted a nationwide search in the spring of 2021 for a new Athletic Director position. That search highlighted a number of excellent candidates. We are pleased to announce that the new Athletic Director for Cotter Schools will be Mathias O'Brien, who was a top candidate in that search. Mathias is a 1996 graduate of Cotter.
Upon graduating from Cotter High School, he attended Winona State University. While at Winona State he played baseball and began his coaching career. He coached basketball and football at Cotter and also started Goodview Sandlot Baseball. Once he completed his degree at Winona State he worked full-time at Cotter as a teacher, assistant athletic director and coach. His time at Cotter was highlighted by coaching the baseball team to a 3rd place finish at the State Tournament in 2006 and 2008.
After seven years at Cotter, he and his family moved to Minneapolis during which time he completed his master’s degree in Applied Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. That degree focused on positive youth development through sports. He also continued teaching in Minneapolis Public Schools and served as an assistant baseball coach at St. Thomas University and Macalester College.
Over the past 7 years Mathias and his wife Kristie have worked for Shanghai Community International Schools in Shanghai, China. Mathias has served as coach, teacher, and an athletic director during his time there, while Kristie has been the Vice Principal of the lower school. Their daughter, Alana, is currently a Freshman at the University of Amsterdam and son, Moses, is in grade 6.
Mathias and his family will return to Winona in early June. Although he will not be physically on our campus until then he will work closely with the Athletic Department and more specifically Nick Whaley who will serve as the Interim Athletic Director. Nick is currently a teacher at Cotter and will provide great expertise with his experience in coaching, AD work, and teaching.
Mathias would like to add, “I am very excited to be returning to Cotter and the Winona Community. Cotter has meant a lot to me and I look forward to working with the students to ensure that they are given the same opportunities that were afforded to me when I was a student there. I will begin reaching out to various members of the Cotter community immediately to gain a greater understanding of our programs. Lastly, a special thank you to all the current coaches, athletic administrators, boosters and parents who are currently making contributions. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.”
We are thankful for the efforts of those who have helped us recently. People like Marie Barrientos, Lori Ortega, Jason Klug and the Cotter Boosters have provided insight and stability during our transition and will continue to be relied on moving forward.