Eight to be inducted into MHS Hall of Fame
This year’s class for the Minot High School Athletic Hall of Fame includes six coaches and two game announcers. The new inductees will be recognized Saturday evening at the Grand Hotel. Many of the inductees are also members of state and national coaching hall of fames, but consider the MHS honor as the best recognition to receive. The first class was inducted in 1998 and this year’s class brings the total of inductees to 166. These coaches’ and announcers’ careers spanned decades. Some career achievements are listed below.
2013 Hall of Fame Coaches
– Ken Disher, boys swimming and diving head coach, 1980-2008
Disher was named national coach of the year in 2002 and 2003. The National Federation of High Schools honored him once as did the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. Under Disher, the Magicians won 20 state titles and 24 West Region titles. He served as an assistant for four season before taking the helm and has served as an assistant since passing the team to Jake Solper.
Disher said: “I was so fortunate to work with so many great assistant coaches that are still part of the program and that they were with me for so long that there was continuity with our program. And alll the athletes that made the choice to be a part of our swimming and diving program over the years to make all the success that Minot High’s had.”
– Dwight “Chipper” Farrell, boys golf, 1977-2005; girls golf, 1981-1989
Farrell is the winningest coach in state history with more than 250 wins, five state titles with the girls and two with the boys. He is a member of the North Dakota and National High School Athletic Coaches Association Halls of Fame and the North Dakota Golf Association Hall of Fame. He was named the 2002 NHSACA national golf coach of the year and is a former editor of Dakota Coach. Farrell is a former chairman of the Prep All-American, which selected the top golfer from each state. Farrell most recently coached at Minot State University before resigning this year.
Farrell said: “I had the opportunity to work with some great people and some great kids. It’s very exciting to be in this group of people, and like I said, if you live long enough and coach long enough – I was at Minot High for 35 years – it’s nice to be included with my mentors.”
– Greg Fjeld, boys track and field, 1980-2004
Fjeld spent 14 seasons as the head coach and 11 as an assistant. He was named NFHS national coach of the year twice, state coach of the year twice and region coach of the year three times. Fjeld coached 39 state champions, 58 region champions and two state championship teams. He fondly remembers the way his athletes took to him.
Fjeld said: “I think they’ll remember me as a passionate coach. I was compassionate to my athletes too and I learned that from Wiley Wilson, who was the coach at Minot State.
“It’s a great honor. A Class B buck from Scobee, Mont., and now I’m in the Minot Hall of Fame. I feel very fortunate and I’m going in with a great group of coaches.”
– Jerry Lyon, boys girls and tennis, 1975-2008
Lyon is a member of the NHSACA Hall of Fame and the North Dakota Coaches Hall of Fame. He was a six-time state coach of the year and was named the 1998 NHSACA coach of the year. Lyon coached the boys for 33 seasons and the girls for 32 seasons. His Majettes won five state titles, the Magicians won three and he finished with a combined record of 778-221. Lyon estimates driving the team bus 130,000 miles through the 65 seasons. His teams reached 21 state finals.
Lyon said: “To get to the state championship 21 times is absolutely incredible and that’s a reflection on the type of athletes I had the good fortune to work with. They trained at championship levels and that’s not easy.”
– Gene Manson, boys basketball, 1981-2008
Manson is a member of the national and state coaches halls of fame and led the Magicians to 16 straight state tournaments, where they won four titles.
Manson said: “I think one of the most important things there was the tradition that we established in the 27 years I was there. We had 16 straight from ’85 to 2000 One thing you look for in a coach is if you can have consistency through the years.
“Even though I’ve been inducted into the National Hall of Fame and the North Dakota Hall of Fame, I think it’s even a little more special when you get inducted by a school you coached at and I feel really honored that that is happening.”
– Glee Mayer, girls track and field, 1978-2005; cross country, 1992-2013
Mayer is a member of national and state coaches halls of fame. She was the national coach of the year in 1999 and won state coach of the year four times. She also won West Region coach of the year 10 times. Her track teams won 12 state titles and 17 region titles. Her cross country teams won two state titles and three region titles. Mayer coached 74 state champions (individual and relay) in track and three champions in cross country. She remembers the dedication of her athletes most.
“We won seven championships in a row and each year the kids took it upon themselves to be the ones to keep it going, and the assistant coaches.
“It means a lot. You put a lot of time in and, of course, you sacrifice on a personal level with your own family and it’s nice that when it’s over you get this and I did always feel appreciated.”
2013 Hall of Fame Announcers
– Les Anderson, Public Address Announcer, 20-25 years
Anderson has done just about everything at Minot High sporting events. His primary duty is announcing and he’s manned the mic for eight different MHS teams. Anderson was principal at Jim Hill Middle School for 19 years and currently serves as the executive director of the North Dakota Association of Student Councils.
Anderson said: “As a principal, I think it’s important to be around the kids outside of a school setting so they know you have a life too. What I really, really enjoyed was the contacts that I had with kids – the different kids I got to know – not just from minot, but out of town. You’re visiting with cheerleaders, coaches and athletes, and making sure you’re pronouncing names correctly.”
– Larry Louser, Public Address Announcer, 1969-present,
Louser can still be heard Friday nights at Duane Carlson Stadium after 44 years behind the mic. He’s done countless football, basketball and wrestling tournaments from the district to state levels. He especially remembers announcing his son, Scott, hit a 3-pointer in the 1989 state championship game.
“It’s really, really an honor because I taught there the first five years that Magic City campus was open and it’s always been special,” Louser. “The reason I kept doing this after I quit teaching was to be around thekids and keep up with them. I never in my wildest dreams would’ve thought of this. It’s extremely special.”
Tim Chapman covers Minot High School athletics. Follow him on Twitter @chapmatp.