Brink receives Lumberjack Award
BEMIDJI - Lyman Brink is a regular at the Lumberjacks Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony and Monday night he joined his family for an evening of celebration, stories and fun.
"I usually go every year to see the players I coached and the people I know who are in the Hall of Fame," Brink said. "Monday was a fun night but I did wonder why Bob (his son) was so dressed up. I kept looking through the program for a reason and in the end I thought it probably was because he is a coach now and he wanted to dress up for his players."
Bob Brink is the girls hockey coach but Monday he also was given the task of announcing this year's Lumberjack Award winner. Each year a person or group of people who are instrumental in the development and success of Bemidji athletics is honored with the Lumberjack Award.
When the time arrived to make this year's announcement Bob Brink mentioned that the 2012 recipient was a long-time hockey assistant coach who was instrumental in the development of many players.
Without mentioning a name, a few sentences into the introduction it was obvious who this year's recipient was.
At that moment Bob Brink paused, looked as his father and said: "You didn't see this coming, did you."
"With Bob giving the award and being so dressed up I should have been smart enough to figure it out. But I really had no idea this was going to happen," Lyman Brink said. "I'm honored but I keep wondering why they picked me. I guess it was for length of service."
Bryan Grand and Brink spent 17 years together behind the Lumberjacks varsity boy's hockey bench and in 1995 the two coaches who were inseparable on the ice retired as a team.
"I actually told Bryan the year before that I was going to retire because I wanted to watch my son Andy play hockey at the University of Minnesota," Brink said. "But Bryan asked me to stick it out one more year so we could retire together and that's what we did."
Brink and Grand created a very successful hockey program and instrumental in their success was the backing the coaches received from the activities office.
"We never had to worry about a problem because we always had the support of our athletic directors, Ray Kavanagh and Jack Luoma," Brink said. "They both were experienced coaches themselves and when we had an issue they knew exactly what to do because they went through the same thing at some time in their coaching careers.
"Whenever we went into their office Ray or Jack would nod his head and tell us not to worry about it because he would take care of things. And he always did."
Brink hasn't coached since 1995 but he is a regular at the BHS sports events, including the Hall of Fame ceremony.
"It is always a fun night but this year it was something special," he said. "Receiving the Lumberjack Award is quite an honor."
Monday's Hall of Fame ceremony also included the announcement of the various athletic scholarships.
This year's winners included:
Troy Nelson Scholarship: JC Cervenka
Des Sagedahl Scholarship: Nick Conner
Bun and Elvera Fortier Scholarship: Chase Gruber
George Pelawa/Calgary Flames Scholarship: Jana Hedstrom
Red Wilson Scholarship: Zach Declusin
Ray Kavanagh Scholarship: Kim Truedson
Buck Robbins Scholarship: Kellie Morehouse
Nortech Systems/Derek Hedstrom Memorial Scholarship: Kyle Fodness
Rick Lee Memorial Scholarship: James Bofferding
Bemidji Youth Basketball Association Scholarships: Jenna Sagedahl and JC Cervenka