Game Night Spotlight: Timberwolves Honors Coach Bob McDonald
After coaching 59 years of high school basketball in the state of Minnesota, it was only right that the Minnesota Timberwolves honor Bob McDonald during their home game on Sunday afternoon.
McDonald, who recently finished his 53rd and final season as the coach of the Chisholm Bluestreaks, was brought out onto the court to receive a specialized Timberwolves jersey with the number 1,012 printed on the back.
That’s right: 1,012…. The number of career victories McDonald achieved throughout his career, making him the winningest high school basketball coach in Minnesota history.
The 80-year-old Hall-of-Fame leader was also the first Minnesota coach to reach 1,000 victories and is the only coach, thus far, to do so. He is one of 13 coaches nationwide to reach 1,000 career high school wins.
“It overwhelms me,” McDonald said. “A lot of years involved and I hope that others would take the lead and stick with the game a little longer.”
Last month, Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed Feb. 11 as “Bob McDonald Day.” But, for McDonald, each day of recognition is always appreciated.
“It never gets old,” McDonald said. “It’s a matter of relating to kids year after year. It’s not all the same. It’s the appreciation that goes a long ways. I have to say that they made me what I am.”
McDonald has made a name for himself after making 11 state tournament appearances, winning three state titles and coaching for a handful of school including McGregor, Barnum and Chisholm. Thus, being brought out in front of thousands of Timberwolves fans made for a very special Don’t Blink moment.
“It’s big time. It is, certainly because I relate to crowds pretty well. I relate to people who have heard of me very well,” he said. “And I relate to the players, whoever they are, who played against me or for me. So I have a appreciation for kids who go out and play the game.”