Back In The Game: O?Brien Leads St. Thomas Academy

    More than two decades have passed since Dan O'Brien's last job as a high school head football coach, and no one is wearing a bigger smile than the first-year coach at St. Thomas Academy.

    'To be able to wake up every day and enjoy what you're doing? The older you get, the more important that piece is,' O'Brien said during the first week of preseason practice at the all-boys military school in Mendota Heights.

    O'Brien, 55, has been involved in football in Minnesota from high school through NCAA Division I. The native of Winthrop was a team captain and all-MIAC defensive back at the University of St. Thomas before working as an assistant football coach at Benilde-St. Margaret's and Lakeville and head coach at Bemidji from 1993 to 1995.

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    John Millea | | John's Journal