Walters Fairmont Athletics Coach | News, Sports, Jobs
FAIRMONT – It’s official.
Jesse Walters was named the Fairmont Cardinals’ head athletics coach when the school board approved the application during Tuesday’s meeting.
“Jesse is Homegrown” Fairmont activities director Mat Mahoney said. “He helped the 2008 team (boys track) win a state championship under coach (Bob) Bonk. He is so proud of the school and the community. The children will trust him.”
Walters, 33, replaces Bob Bonk, who retired earlier this summer. Bonk spent more than 50 years coaching the spring programs for both boys and girls.
Walters had been one of Bonk’s assistant track and field coaches since 2017, when he relocated from the Minneapolis area back to Fairmont.
Walters ran at the track under Bonk from 2005 to 2008. The 2008 Fairmont squad won the Minnesota State High School League Class A state team championship when Walters was a senior.
Fairmont finished with 52 points, followed by Glencoe-Silver Lake with 33 and St. Croix Lutheran with 32.
“Jesse and I would spend hours between meetings talking tracks.” said Bonk. “I’m very happy for him and I think he’ll do a great job.”
Walters was a member of the Fairmont 4×400 and 4×800 teams, which posted the second and sixth best times in school history at 3:22 and 8:08, respectively.
“He’s always loved being a track and field athlete, whether it was in high school or college,” said Bonk. “He has a lot of experience in sports. He’s such a nice person too.”
“I want to continue the 50-year Fairmont tradition that Coach Bonk instilled in this program and continue Coach Bonk’s 50-year success at Fairmont.” said Walters. “I will add some new spins to the program. I learned a lot about family from Coach Bonk. As the new head coach, I want to teach the kids about family life. Coach Bonk taught me a lot about being part of a family and I hope to be able to do the same with my track kids.”
Walters is the hometown athlete who ran track and field at Fairmont High School, graduated in 2008 and ran sprints for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls from 2009-2012. He was an honorary member of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Scholastic in 2009 and 2011 and a 2010 and 2011 All-WIAC Indoor All-Sportsmanship team member.
“I did what the coach asked” said Walters.
As a college student, Walters ran the 100-meter dash in 11.7 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 23.66, and the 400-meter dash in 51.39.
Walters has an Environmental Sciences degree from UW-River Falls and now works for the Martin Soil and Water Conservation District, where he helps landowners increase the productive use of farmland, rangeland, forest and urban land while protecting the soil base, water quality and to preserve tree production and wildlife production, according to the Martin SWCD website.
Walters has been involved with soccer and track and field since the sport started in high school.
Advance the clock by more than a decade and Walters is coaching junior varsity football in the fall and track and field in the spring at his alma mater.
Walters and his wife Krysten have an 18-month-old son, Chase, and are expecting their second child this month.
“I hope my kids take part in my track and field program here at Fairmont,” said Walters. “I give Coach Bonk a lot of credit.
“Coaching track is something I love and I’m excited for the start of the season.”