St. Paul Academy and Summit School is pleased to welcome five new Varsity Head Coaches to our athletics program in girls' soccer, volleyball, boys' hockey, girls' basketball, and cross country. Read more about our new coaches below, and Go Spartans!
Paul Armstrong - Girls' Soccer
Paul Armstrong joins the SPA Athletic Department and community as the Head Coach for girls’ soccer. Coach Armstrong has spent the last twelve years coaching various clubs around the Twin Cities. Most recently, he was an Assistant Varsity Coach at the Blake School for the last eight seasons. His favorite thing about coaching is watching his players grow both individually and collectively as a team unit throughout the year. Coach Armstrong is eager to be a part of the SPA community and take the soccer program to new heights.
Mary Engstrom - Volleyball
Mary (MJ) Engstrom began her coaching career in 1979 coaching at St. Paul Harding High School, her alma mater. She brings a high level of experience to SPA as she has coached for more than 38 years, with 25 of those at the collegiate level. Coach Engstrom coached most recently at the University at Albany, where she guided the program to 165 wins, three Conference Championships, and three NCAA tournament appearances. She has also held coaching internships with both the Men's (1995) and Women's (1999) USA National teams. She brings a passion to coaching and loves what sports can teach young athletes. “What I love about coaching is that sports are the ultimate classroom. Students are immersed in the physical essence of physics, math, and statistics. And they reap the benefits of working together or the consequences of disharmony almost immediately.”
Bill McClellan - Boys' Hockey
Bill McClellan brings more than 30 years of coaching experience to SPA. He began his coaching career at Tartan High School and has since coached for Park High School, Rosemount, East Ridge, and Minnehaha Academy. Most recently, he was the Assistant Coach at the Academy of Holy Angels for the last four years. Named Assistant Coach of the Year in 2014-15 by the MHCA, Coach McClellan was also a part of the State Boys’ Academics Championship teams in 2012-2013 and 2017-2018 while at East Ridge and Academy of Holy Angels. He has also coached with USA Hockey since 2004. His experience, enthusiasm, and ability to connect with players will serve him well at SPA.
Gary Perry - Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country
Gary Perry comes to SPA after coaching for five years at Wilson Central High School in Tennessee. He has a passion for coaching and strives to create a great training, racing, and athletic experience for all athletes. What he enjoys most about coaching cross country is seeing his athletes work together and individually to reach a common goal and strive for new heights. “SPA has a great location for a cross-country team. Our Randolph Campus track, the course at St Kate's, and the nearby bike trails and parks means there are endless opportunities for Spartan athletes to train and reach their full potential.”
Willie Taylor - Girls' Basketball
Willie Taylor brings a record of sustained excellence to SPA’s girls’ basketball program. Coach Taylor spent fifteen seasons at St. Paul Central High School, guiding his teams to 12 St. Paul City Conference titles, six state tournament appearances, and back-to-back state titles in 2008 and 2009. Since 2014, he has been the Head Coach at Stillwater High School where he guided the Ponies to 120 wins, three consecutive Suburban East Conference championships, and three straight trips to the Class AAAA state tournament. Coach Taylor is a 2009 Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee and comes to SPA with 544 career victories as Head Coach.