Reporting Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For math league, Wayzata is unbeaten and is No. 1 in the state. Coach Thomas Kilkelly wants to keep it that way.
“I’ve won the last five and eight of the last nine, so it would be nice to round it off to 10,” said Kilkelly.
Now, Kilkelly is retiring after 41 years as a math teacher. His students are determined to send him off in style – by winning state.
“We all love Mr. Kilkelly, so that’s why there is that little pressure and get that first in the state,” said student Jenica Zhong.
Kilkelly has inspired students and coached a dominant program by focusing on the same things as other great coaches — fundamentals.
“He always does an analogy that like, practicing for math team is like practicing your free throws in basketball,” said student Abram Sanderson.
“Even in my math classrooms we don’t have homework, we have practice each day,” added Kilkelly. “We don’t have quizzes, we have scrimmages, because it’s time to find out have you learned the concepts we’re trying to teach.”
Recently, Wayzata was honored for winning the regular season title — again.
The coaches’ name was even part of the questions during math bowl and one of his students even won that competition.
“I’ll probably be grading it. I’ll probably be in the grade room helping out, but I’ll certainly be here,” said Kilkelly.
At 7:40 p.m. Monday night, Wayzata told WCCO that they won the state championship.
It’s a wonderful ending for a retiring coach who says he’ll still be here next year.