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Bun Fortier among top MSHSL coaches

Minnesota State High School League officials are celebrating the organization's 100th birthday by chronicling what they consider to be the best state tournament achievements and participants.

The first group to be singled out is the state tournament boys basketball coaches.

Among a group of 13 "notable coaches" (as judged by the MSHSL officials) was former Bemidji coach Bun Fortier. Fortier, who took his first Lumberjacks team to the state tournament in 1960 and led his final BHS squad to the tournament in 1969, guided the program to 14 state tournament appearances.

The top five boys state high school tournament coaches according to the MSHSL officials, in alphabetical order, are Jack Evens of Bloomington Jefferson, Jim Hastings of Duluth Central, Russell S. "Butsie" Maetzold of Hopkins, Bob McDonald of Chisholm and Ken Novak Jr. of Blaine and Hopkins.

Evens coached for 26 years and finished with a career record of 554-193. He took Bloomington Jefferson to the state tournament eight times between 1975 and 1990 and won four titles.

Hastings coached at Duluth Central for 31 years and compiled a record of 541-236. During his tenure Duluth Central appeared in nine state tournaments from 1961 to 1986.

Maetzold guided Hopkins to four state tournaments, the first in 1942 and the final one in 1953. Maetzold compiled the best winning percentage in the history of Minnesota boys basketball with a 508-62 record (91 percent).

McDonald has been the Chisholm coach since 1961. In 2011 the program gained the state for the 11th time.

Novak took Blaine to the state tournament in 1987 and has guided Hopkins to the event 11 times since 1993. Hopkins has captured the state title six times.

Joining Fortier on the list of MSHSL notable coaches, and the years of their first and last state tournaments appearances, are:

Harvey Roels of Chisholm (1930-1940), Duane Baglien of Fergus Falls and Edina (1957-1968), Del Schiffler of Melrose and Woodbury (1972-1987), Larry McKenzie of Minneapolis Patrick Henry (1999-2003), Ove Berven of Austin (1941-1963) Bob Brink of Rocori (1979-2012), Ray Parkins of Duluth Central and Minneapolis Edison (1922-1937), Gleny Hanna of Moorhead (1926-1934), Tom Vix of Rushford-Peterson (1989-2010), Dave Thorson of DeLaSalle (1997-2012), Ziggy Kauls of Mounds View (1971-2012) and Robin Ingram of Minneapolis North (1990-1999).

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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