Lynnwood High School names two new head coaches for spring sports

The Royals will have two new head coaches this spring.

Andrew Knudsen will lead the school’s baseball team and Stephanie Tastad will be the new head track coach.

Knudsen steps in as head coach for the Royals varsity baseball team after serving as their JV coach the past two seasons under former head coach Fraser Dizard, who resigned after three seasons and a 46-27 record including post-season play.

Prior to his time at Lynnwood, Knudsen, a 2006 graduate of Mountlake Terrace High School, served for four years as Varsity Assistant Coach for the Hawks under his high school coach, Andrew Waters.

After graduating, he played baseball at Edmonds Community College and then California State University–Monterey Bay in the Division 2 CCAA (California Collegiate Athletic Association) which is known as a powerhouse conference for baseball at that level.

“I would just say that I am excited to be given the opportunity to coach varsity baseball at LHS,” Knudsen said. “Since finishing my playing days, it has been a goal of mine to be a varsity head coach, so achieving that is a big accomplishment. I’m excited about the athletes in the program and the direction the program is heading. I am focused on keeping up the recent success that the previous teams and coaches have had here at Lynnwood High School.”

Meanwhile, Tastad replaces the legendary Duane Lewis, becoming just the second head track coach in Lynnwood High School history. Tastad, a graduate of Lynnwood High School, was a member of the 1990 Girls State Championship team, coached by Lewis, then was an assistant coach during the Lynnwood Girls State Championship in 2016.

Stephanie has also been a member of the Lynnwood High School cross country coaching staff since 2012, first as an assistant then taking over as head coach in 2013.

On that 1990 State Championship team, Coach Lewis had her running the 3200 meter, 1600 meter, 800 meter and the 4×400 meter relay.

After high school, Tastad competed on both the Cross Country and Track teams for two years at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, Oregon. She transferred to the University of Washington, but no longer ran competitively. However, she never gave up running in her leisure time. She likes to run marathons these days.

On being named head track coach at the school she graduated from, Tastad said, “I had no idea that I’d love coaching so much, until I started working with the student athletes and watched them get stronger. I’m addicted, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this team. I look forward to continuing to work with the other talented individuals that round out our coaching staff. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I guess I was meant to be a Royal.”

–By Scott Williams

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