Al Iversen won a state championship in 2006, coaching the Apple Valley baseball team.
Can he do the same at Prior Lake? The Lakers have never made the state field in the program's long history.
Iversen was recently named head coach of Prior Lake. He was an assistant coach for the team last year and before that was head coach for a combined 17 seasons at both Apple Valley and Lakeville South.
Iversen takes over for Greg Nesbitt, who stepped down this past summer after five seasons leading the Lakers' program due to family reasons, as well as becoming the director of player development at Starters Sports Training in Shakopee.
Nesbitt led Prior Lake to the South Suburban Conference title last spring, winning the crown by three games with a 15-3 mark. Nesbitt had a 66-49 overall record in his five seasons, but was just 5-10 in the playoffs, including losing his last six postseason games.
Iversen becomes Prior Lake's fourth head coach in the last 50 years. Nesbitt took over the Lakers' program from Ryan Schwertman, who is the general manager at Starters Sports Training. Schwertman coached the Lakers for three seasons (2011 to 2013).
Before that, Darwin Busselman coached Prior Lake for 42 years, but the Hall of Famer retired following the 2010 season. Busselman had 535 career wins and ended his tenure ranked No. 4 on Minnesota's all-time wins list.
Iversen, who is also a hitting/catching/fielding instructor at Pitch2Pitch, was the head coach at Apple Valley for 10 seasons, stepping down in 2010 to take over at Lakeville South. He took the Cougars to the state tournament in 2014 where the team finished fourth, stepping down after the 2017 season.
Iversen also led Apple Valley to three Lake Conference titles (2002, 2004 and 2007). He took over the Eagles' program from Glenn La Chapelle, who had 290 career wins in 19 seasons for Apple Valley before stepping down in 2000.
La Chapelle was inducted into the Minnesota High School State Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010, three years after Busselman was enshrined.
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