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Published April 10 2012

Moorhead names Breckenridge's Haugo as its new activities director

MOORHEAD – Being in his 50s wondering what could have been wasn’t what Dean Haugo wanted.

But being 39 years old and knowing he has a chance to mold a high school like Moorhead is what Haugo wanted.

Moorhead announced Tuesday that Haugo was getting that chance when he was introduced as the school’s new activities director.

“Jobs like this job do not come open very often,” Haugo said. “And so you either have to be ready to jump at the chance or be left looking at it when it comes open in the next 15 to 20 years.”

Haugo, who was Breckenridge high school’s activities director and boys basketball coach, takes over for Don Hulbert, who has been at Moorhead since 1989.

Moorhead superintendent Lynne Kovash said Haugo will start his new job July 1.

Haugo will only serve as activities director at Moorhead.

“He was everything we looked for in an activities director,” Kovash said.

Haugo steps into what could be a promising situation.

The Moorhead cross country, football, boys basketball and boys hockey teams all reached the state tournament this season.

Wrestling is improving, with Chase Morlock winning an individual state title. And girls hockey enjoyed one of its best seasons in a while.

Emerging athletic programs coupled with an active arts and theatre program also add to what made Moorhead an attractive opening.

“I think you hit the nail right on the head, because when you look at this job you are not looking at a rebuilding process,” Haugo said. “You are looking at a process of making what is already good better.”

Breckenridge superintendent Rick Bleichner said Haugo’s departure is “a loss” for the district.

Haugo, in addition to being an activities director and a basketball coach, also taught business courses at Breckenridge. That leaves the school with some positions to fill.

Bleichner, who has been superintendent for two years, said Haugo was a committed worker who was always personable.

“Our softball field went from one of the least attractive in the conference to one of the nicest in the conference, and he was instrumental in that,” Bleichner said. “He cares for athletics and activities in our district. Moorhead will be very happy with him.”

Haugo grew up in Waubun, Minn., and played football at Concordia. He also did track, but as he quickly pointed out, it was for a short stint.

Haugo taught at Breckenridge for 11 years, starting as a physical education teacher. Breckenridge hired Haugo to be its activities director back in 2008.

“When you are looking at the fine arts, speech and drama … all programs want to know if they matter,” Haugo said. “They want to know if someone is working on their behalf. It will be a little bit of a bigger job, but it’s one I am going to enjoy.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found at slightlychilled.areavoices.com