Board of Directors

Mark Erickson, President
Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission

Mark is a Sports Administrator at the National Sports Center in Blaine. He has been active in Minnesota boys’ lacrosse since 2002, coaching at the youth and high school levels at Breck, Mendota Heights – Henry Sibley, and Oakdale – North Senior High programs. Since 2008, he has served on the board of the Minnesota Boys Scholastic Lacrosse Association, which operates the boys’ high school club varsity league. Mark graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Economics.

Kevin Merkle, Vice President
Minnesota State High School League

Kevin is an Associate Director for the Minnesota State High School League where his responsibilities include directing the Football, Boys Basketball, Baseball and Dance Team program as well as the Director of the Officials program. Kevin is also active with the National Federation of State High School Associations. Prior to joining the MSHSL staff he was both an assistant and head coach at the high school level in several sports; and spent fourteen years as a High School Athletic/Activities Director. Kevin also has been involved with several youth sport associations, has coached football, basketball and baseball at all levels, and spent 33 years as a high school and college basketball official.

Christine Nickels, Secretary
United States Tennis Association (USTA) Northern

Christine is the Director of Community Tennis for USTA Northern where she administers section grant programs, provides support to Community Tennis Associations and National Junior Tennis and Learning chapters and oversees all community tennis initiatives for the Section. She came to USTA Northern in 2005 after completing an internship at the Minnesota Women’s Golf Association. Christine graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in exercise and sports science and was a member of the women’s tennis team. She is also certified by the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) in junior and adult development.

Brian Hronski, Treasurer
Minnesota Recreation and Park Association

Brian is the Recreation Supervisor with the City of Lino Lakes Parks and Recreation Board. He started in the recreation field in 1997 with the City of Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Department and has been involved with directing youth and adult leagues for the past 10 years. Brian’s background is especially strong in baseball where he played at Winona State and has played amateur baseball for more than 20 years. Brian has also been a youth and adult sports official and has coached high school baseball for 8 seasons.

Glen Andresen
Minnesota Hockey

Glen is the Executive Director of Minnesota Hockey, a USA Hockey affiliate and the governing body for youth and amateur hockey in the state of Minnesota. His goals with Minnesota Hockey are to get more kids playing the game, help them develop to their highest potential and promote safety on and off the ice. He came to Minnesota Hockey after spending nine years with the Minnesota Wild, specializing in Marketing and Communications.

Kent Campbell
Minnesota Youth Soccer Association
Executive Director

Dawson Blanck
Minnesota Youth Athletic Services
Executive Director, Trusted Coaches

Deborah Edwards
Positive Coaching Alliance – Minnesota

Deborah served as PCA-Minnesota Executive Director from the launch of the chapter in 2013 and was promoted to Director of Field Operations and now helps oversee the growth and health of PCA chapters throughout the U.S. Before joining PCA, Deborah worked with the University of Minnesota Gopher Sports Marketing Department. During her tenure with the marketing department she worked with all 25 sports on all marketing, communications and social media strategies. Actively involved in her community, Deborah is a board member for the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota, and a member of TeamWomenMN. Deborah holds a BA in Communications from the University of Iowa. Deborah, her husband Kerry, and daughter Elerie reside in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Steve Ketter
Southdale YMCA

Steve is the Sports Program Director for the Southdale YMCA. He has been involved in sports as a participant, coach, official, and administrator. Steve graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Recreation Management and minor in Business Administration.

Judy Praska
North Country Region USA Volleyball

Judy is the Executive Director for North Country Region USA Volleyball since 1999. She has a masters degree in Sports, Health and Leisure Studies with an emphasis in Athletic Administration from the University of Iowa and a bachelors degree in Mathematics with a teaching and coaching certification for 7th-12th grades from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.


If you are interested in serving on the SAM Board or helping SAM in other ways, please email SportsAllianceMN@gmail.com.