Gary Munsen undergoes successful hip-replacement surgeryFormer Mitchell boys’ basketball coach Gary Munsen underwent successful hip-replacement surgery Monday morning. Munsen, who has been struggling with a bad hip for several years, had surgery at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell.
By: Claire Meador, The Daily Republic
Former Mitchell boys’ basketball coach Gary Munsen underwent successful hip-replacement surgery Monday morning.
Munsen, who has been struggling with a bad hip for several years, had surgery at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell.
“I feel better, but I don’t feel great,” Munsen said Monday night while lying in the hospital bed.
Munsen will start physical therapy today, and he expects to make a full recovery in about six weeks.
The longtime coach finished his career with 902 wins — boys and girls combined — after retiring from Mitchell after the season that ended just a few weeks ago at the Class AA state tournament. Munsen listed heath and family for the main reasons he wanted to step down.
What got lost in the Kernels’ successful season and run to the postseason was Munsen’s 900th overall win. The 50-41 victory over Huron came on March 2 at the Corn Palace, capping Munsen’s last major round number victory.
The victory also gave Munsen and the Kernels the District 3AA championship and a berth to the state tournament. After the Munsen got his 900th win, the Kernels won their first-round game at the state tour-nament in overtime against Sioux Falls Roosevelt for Munsen’s 901st win. Mitchell beat Pierre in the semi-finals for Munsen’s last career win.
At the end of his career, Munsen has a total of 673 boys’ basketball wins and 229 girls’ basketball wins. Those numbers reflect Munsen’s 39 varsity seasons at Mitchell and three varsity seasons as Marion’s head boys’ basketball coach.
Munsen has the most wins in South Dakota basketball history in combining victories in girls and boys games.
“I couldn’t have done it without the kids,” Munsen said. “That’s the way I look at it. What’s more astonishing, I think, is since 1984 — 28 years — my teams have been in the finals 14 times. Half of those 28 years we’ve made it to the state tournament. I mean that’s quite an accomplishment, too.”
Larry Luitjens, head boys’ basketball coach for the Custer Wildcats is the only other coach in South Dakota who comes close to touching Munsen’s total wins record.
Luitjens, who has been a coach for 39 years, is the winningest coach in South Dakota for boys’ basketball. Luitjens has never coached girls’ basketball and holds a 721-287 record after the 2011-2012 season.
Burnell Glanzer, head boys’ basketball coach for Tripp-Delmont/Armour has a record of 615-207 in coaching boys’ basketball.