Photo provided by North Dakota State Athletics
Women’s Track and Field
Tamara Gilmore Sather was a leader at North Dakota State, she then took those same leadership skills to the classrooms of Eden Prairie where she has taught social studies since the mid ‘90s.
At North Dakota State, Sather (whose last name was Gilmore at the time) built on a celebrated prep career in which she finished third in the 100-meter dash and fifth in the 200 at the 1986 Minnesota state meet. With the Bison, Sather captured conference crowns in the indoor 55-meter dash and three outdoor 400-meter relays all while earning the respect of her fellow teammates to be named captain.
After Sather was done running in 1991, she stayed on with the team as a student coach, getting a taste for her future career of molding young minds.
After graduating, Sather went on to begin her teaching career at Eden Prairie’s Central Middle School in 1992. She taught social studies for 10 years while coaching both track & field and Nordic skiing. Soon after marrying her husband Scott and giving birth to twins, Sather took a four-year sabbatical from teaching. Today, she teaches high school social studies. She and Scott have been married for 22 years.
But that’s not the only thing she has done.
In addition to coaching track & field and Nordic skiing, Sather has also coached soccer and cross country, spending time coaching in Eastern Carver County, Eden Prairie, Chanhassen and Jefferson High School.
“I just want to instill the love of sport in my athletes,” Sather said. “I want to leave them with the confidence to do something long after the season is over. Maybe you won’t be sprinting around a track for the rest of your life, but maybe you develop a love of running and make it a part of your life. Nordic skiing is a lifelong sport as well, it doesn’t have to be done competitively. I try to coach all levels of kids. I want to coach the kid that’s out there just for the social aspect as well as those that really aspire to compete in their sport at higher levels.”
Personally, Sather has found time for a passion or two as well.
She still Nordic skis and runs. Only now, she runs much further. A sprinter in high school, Sather has developed into quite the distance runner, competing at a high level in 5Ks and completing six marathons—she even did well enough to qualify and run in the Boston Marathon!
Sather lives with her husband Scott, together raising three children—Anika (19), Eric (19) and Lily (16).
What other passions do you have?
I’ve been to the Boundary Waters 20 times. I like hiking in the woods every single day, I like being outdoors. I like reading, but I can’t sit still and read a book, so now I’m into audiobooks. I’m always listening to a book or good music. I love going to concerts, too. I’ve also picked up swimming and swim in the summers. I like to play with my dog, I like fishing and I hunt as well.
We also really like to travel and my husband is a pilot for Delta so that makes it a lot easier.
How would you describe your coaching style?
I try to encourage at every level. For example, during the first day, there may be an instance where the kids are running a 40-yard dash and they fall down. That’s when I’ll tell them, “Hey, you know what that means? You are running so fast that your legs couldn’t keep up with you because you haven’t been sprinting like this.” I just try to encourage them and show them that being human is okay. I also learned from my high school and college coach that it’s really important to get to know a kid and know how to push their buttons in a good way. You need to know who you have to have tender gloves with and who you need to help push. I try to get to know them by just talking with them and watching them.
Do you think you’ll ever stop coaching?
Maybe. What would stop me is if I retire and I’m traveling so I’m not here. I won’t coach if I can’t commit to a full season. Although, I don’t ever want to leave in the winter because of the skiing.
Tamara Sather’s NDSU Athletic Achievements
Division II All-American (4x400m relay)
3X NCC Outdoor Champion in the 400m Relay
NCC Indoor 55m Dash Champion
Part of a 1990 relay team that still holds the school record in the 800m Medley relay