HOPKINS, Minn. -- Even while she was training to play in the Olympics, Katie Johnson was dreaming of coaching.
"To tell you the truth," her father Dan Johnson says, "even when she was in second grade and I was coaching the Hopkins girls and she was instructing them on how to do certain skills."
She’s still showing the skills assisting her father. They’ve taken the Hopkins High School rugby team to new heights, qualifying for the nationals this weekend in Elkhart, Indiana, for the first time in school history.
"We’ve had a bunch of girls that are just on top of the game," says Katie. "And then we have a bunch of girls who are brand new and those are the ones that I love because you can see the light bulb going off."
Naturally the kids look up to both Johnsons. But Katie is fresh off a spot on the Olympic team in Rio, so that carries a little bit of weight on this field
"We all watched her play at the Olympics we all know she’s incredible," says senior Bridgette Mielke. "She doesn’t just sit on the sideline."
Right now – this is the only field Katie Johnson cares to be a part of, as a coach. But she also isn’t quite ready to end her career as a player either. Eyeing the next Summer games in 2020.
"Yeah it’s definitely in sights," says Katie. "I would love to stay home for a few years and have a stable back-up plan maybe with the Minneapolis Fire department, but I would love to look back into trying out."
For now she just wants to help these kids experience just a small portion of the thrill she enjoyed competing for her nation by helping them compete for a national title.
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