It's been kind of a busy week for Mike Grant.
But now that his team's 28-7 victory over Lakeville North in the Class 6A state championship game last Friday is behind him, the Eden Prairie head coach and activities director confirmed that he does plan to begin the application process for the head coaching job at St. John's.
"I haven't really had any time to spend on it yet," said Grant, who also had his son Ryan's football banquet at the University of Minnesota to attend Sunday afternoon, and his own team's year-end banquet Sunday night.
"But when I get some free time this week, I'll get online and start the application process. I'll fill it out and start things moving forward. Then we'll see what happens. Maybe they won't even invite me up for an interview. You never know how these things will turn out."
Grant - whose teams have now won eight state titles at Eden Prairie - has long been one of the most speculated about potential candidates to replace John Gagliardi, who announced his retirement on Nov. 19 after 60 seasons - and four national championships - as head coach at the school.
But he said he has not yet discussed the position in any depth with school officials or the 10-member search committee charged with finding Gagliardi's replacement.
"It would be presumptuous of me to have those discussions before they've asked me to interview for the job," said Grant, who played for the Johnnies and was an assistant coach at the school in the 1980s. "If I get that opportunity, I'm assuming there would be the chance for me to ask questions of them and for them to ask questions of me."
But the 55-year-old Grant said if he is asked to interview for the job, he'd want to have a discussion about how best to keep the program competitive with other schools in the MIAC.
"The level of football in that league has gotten really good," Grant said. "I don't know that St. John's has decreased as much as the water has risen in the rest of the conference. There are a whole lot more good teams now than there have been in the past.
"So I think you want to analyze what those places have done that has enabled them to raise their level of play - the Bethels and St. Thomas's, and to some degree, the Concordia's and St. Olafs. Teams like that.
"I know the school has done a great job in the last year or so when it comes to upgrading their facilities with the new baseball and soccer fields, replacing the turf on the football field, as well as the plans for the indoor bubble they have coming."
Meanwhile, former St. John's quarterback and Carleton head coach Kurt Ramler confirmed Monday that he also plans to apply for the job. Ramler started three seasons at quarterback for the Johnnies and was a member of the coaching staff at the school in 2002. He was named the head coach at Carleton in 2006 and recorded a record of 22-38 before stepping down after the 2011 season.
He was named MIAC coach of the year after leading the Knights to a 7-3 record in 2009 - the best record at the school since 1992.
"It would truly be an honor just to be considered," said Ramler of the Johnnies job. "When I think about how much St. John's - and more specifically John Gagliardi - has made a positive impact on my life, it would be amazing to be a part of continuing what he's built there. There haven't been many people who have had more of a positive influence on my life than he has."
Ramler said he spent this past season traveling and observing how things are done in other football programs.
"I really had a unique opportunity to take a true sabbatical and I was able to shadow a number of programs," Ramler said. "I was able to take a look at how things are being done in different places."
Grant and Ramler join current Johnnies assistant coach Gary Fasching and current Idaho and former Minnesota assistant coach Gordy Shaw in confirming their intention to apply for the job.
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