Menge Earns Spot in Hall of Fame

Girls’ soccer coach of 26 years honored for years of success, dedication


Tyler Holmes

Menge poses with his award in his office. He has always made it a point of pride for his teams to display sportsmanship.

Tyler Holmes, Staff Writer

On Sunday, October 21, Paul Menge stood on a podium in front of 5000 onlookers during the State Soccer Banquet in Saint Paul. Boys and girls teams from around the state watched as Menge was introduced by Bill Vance, the Totino-Grace boys soccer coach, a longtime colleague and Jen Vance‘s husband. 

For the first time, Menge was not perched atop that podium as a coach –he retired after 41 years in 2018– but he stood as an icon. An example to coaches, players, families, and schools across the state of what a coach should embody. On that Sunday morning Menge was inducted into the Minnesota State Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame with an astounding 481 wins over the course of his career. 

Along with his involvement in the upper school administration, Menge was the head coach of the Blake Girls Soccer team for 26 years. As Vance presented the award to Menge, he mentioned in his speech certain comments Menge had received from his peers in consideration for the award. One anonymous source in particular detailed how “ ‘Coach’ is not something that Paul Menge does; “Coach” is what Paul Menge is. His moral compass, his expertise as a teacher and a leader, and his capacity to find and feed the good in every person ensure that we always chart the right course.” 

Sitting 8th all time for wins as a head coach, Menge hangs up his boots a true legend. After receiving his award, Menge reflects how, “I felt very humbled to be included with the people who I also know are in that hall of fame. And just so grateful to have had the opportunity to coach, first of all. I was just really grateful when I had the opportunity to thank all of the people that I have been able to work with… It’s like the most special thing I think I have ever had happened to me.” This year, the girls team has marched all the way to the state tournament again, this time without their longtime leader.