Alumnus Jamie Gaard Chapman coaches two teams

Sadie Roy, staff writer

Being an Edina High School alumnus, Jamie Gaard Chapman has always had a connection to the Edina sports community, leading her to be the coach of Edina Varsity Girls Basketball. In high school, she excelled at basketball and tennis and continued her passion for sports by becoming a coach.  

In high school, Gaard Chapman was extremely involved in sports: going to the State Championship for basketball for three consecutive years and winning four high school State championships for tennis. Gaard Chapman also won the state tennis doubles match in 2001 and received All-Conference and All-State honors. Gaard Chapman’s success in high school helped her be a strong athlete at Gustavus Adolphus College where she was a four-year All-Conference tennis player. 

Basketball and tennis are such a big part of Gaard Chapman’s life which is why she chose to coach basketball after college. “As I got closer to graduation, I knew I wanted to continue to have sports be a part of my life after college. It happened that the Edina JV basketball [coaching] position opened up the year I graduated, so I jumped at the opportunity,” Gaard Chapman said. During her time coaching basketball at Edina, Gaard Chapman was also a part of the tennis staff at Benilde-St. Margaret’s. 

Gaard Chapman spent 12 years as an assistant coach for Girls’ Varsity Basketball and was the head coach for the first time this year. Sophomore Katie Erickson is a JV/Varsity manager for Girls’ Basketball and has gotten to know Gaard Chapman well. “She’s a former player and knows how everything works because of her experience, and she’s been in it so long so she knows what’s best for us,” Erickson said. “She has really helped us improve. Even though the season isn’t going well, she still works on taking us to a higher level and doesn’t let us give up.” 

Gaard Chapman is looking forward to coaching such a high level of tennis this upcoming season, especially because the tennis team has won 13 state championships, including the championship this past year. “The commitment level and pride in competing for the team was always something that was emphasized when I was a player, and those values hold very strong within the culture of the Edina tennis program today,” Gaard Chapman said.