Munsen up for national coach of year awardGary Munsen has been nominated for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association boys’ basketball coach of the year award.
Gary Munsen has been nominated for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association boys’ basketball coach of the year award.
The former Mitchell High School basketball coach was notified of the news about one week ago and told The Daily Republic Thursday evening.
“Obviously, at the end of your coaching career, everything like this is nice,” Munsen said. “All the hard work and the things you put in for all these years, someone must appreciate you when you’re up for something like this.
“And, if you didn’t have the players to be successful in a program, you wouldn’t be up for an award like this. You have to have everyone behind you like I have for almost 40 years here in Mitchell.”
Each state has an opportunity to nominate a coach for the national award. Munsen — who was inducted to the NHSACA hall of fame in 2008 in Colorado Springs, Colo., — is up against coaches in North Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska in hopes to make it to the final eight coaches. He will learn if he makes the cut in November. He was nominated by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association.
Jerry Miller, a White Lake native and former NHSACA president from 1989 to 1990, said Munsen has a great opportunity to make the final eight based on his resume.
Munsen, who retired in March following a state runner-up finish at the Class AA state boys’ basketball tournament, was a head coach in basketball for 43 years, 39 of which he spent in Mitchell. He finished with 673 boys’ varsity wins and 229 girls’ varsity wins for a total of 901 victories. He also has 12 combined state championships in both girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball.
“He has a great record; he has a lot of state championships and he’s coached for a long time,” Miller said. “He also has a lot of honors.”
If Munsen gets nominated as the regional representative, he’ll be invited to attend a banquet in the summer of 2013 in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I’d love to win it,” said Munsen, who has been nominated for this national award once before but didn’t make the regional cut. “I’d love to even make it to the final eight. That’d be an honor.”