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Published June 29 2012

Hulbert lends helping hand to Haugo during Spuds AD transition

MOORHEAD – The last week has made Don Hulbert reminisce, and understandably so.

Everything was set up for Hulbert to retire as Moorhead’s athletic director this week and turn everything over to the newcomer and former Breckenridge athletic director Dean Haugo.

“I remember when I took over this job 23 years ago and I was thankful for (predecessor) Phil Seljevold,” said the 64-year-old Hulbert. “He was so benevolent and was always there. There is a lot to know about an operation like this.”

That is why Hulbert decided to stay on in a temporary capacity to help Haugo ease into his new position. Hulbert said he will serve in his new position until Sept. 1 when he will go on a leave of absence, effectively starting his retirement.

Haugo, 39, said having Hulbert around has been a blessing.

“There is just a bigger scope with everything that is involved,” Haugo said. “Whether it be more numbers, more kids, the big thing is Don has been an unbelievable resource.”

Moorhead’s enrollment for the 2011-12 school year was 1,356 students. The school also has 24 varsity sports plus activities such as speech.

Breckenridge had an enrollment of 261 students – nearly a difference of 1,100 students – and 15 active varsity sports.

“The biggest thing for me is just to get all of the details and all of the schedules wrapped up so when the school year starts, I can focus on the day-to-day tasks,” Haugo said. “We are doing different things like getting our schedules online so when the school year gets here, we can start rolling along.”

When the school year does start, Hulbert could be at a few Moorhead games.

Hulbert said he has many goals, and one of them is spending more time at his cabin, which he and his wife maintain as their permanent residence.

“I built a cabin and I bought the land when I was 18 years old,” he said. “It is a long-time project I have continued to work on. That has been a hobby of mine.”

Hulbert also plans to do some traveling to see his children, one of them being an aspiring country music artist. The goal is to stay busy, be active and keep a presence within Moorhead.

Moorhead has been the kind of program that has seen its retired coaches and athletic directors stick around, whether it is as volunteers, fans or both.

Considering himself a “lifelong Spud,” Hulbert said there were several moments he’ll remember, with a few of them occurring this past school year.

One of them was the boys basketball team returning to the state tournament. The other, he said, was senior-to-be Chase Morlock’s state wrestling title, where he was cheered on by nearly the entire Xcel Energy Center crowd after running through a gauntlet of the state’s best, including wrestlers from polarizing state power Apple Valley.

“I want to stay connected to Moorhead, because it is a great place,” Hulbert said. “I love the people, I love the city of Moorhead, and it is a good place to say you are from.”

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

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