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Holmseth nets 300 career wins

By Staff | Nov 24, 2008

Gary Holmseth explains game strategy to his Bucs boys basketball team during a time out last season. Holmseth got his 300th win near the end of last year’s schedule.

Gary Holmseth, head basketball coach for the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers, was recently honored by the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association at their Fall Clinic/Luncheon for achieving 300 career wins.

Holmseth, who has an overall record of 303-157, is beginning his 20th year at the helm of the Bucs basketball program.

A graduate of Frost High School, Holmseth attended college at what was then known as Mankato State University. He had a one year stop at Pine Island before moving to Blue Earth in 1984. He coached the C-squad for two years and the B-squad for three years before becoming the Bucs head coach for the 1989-1990 season.

“Gary’s teams are always well prepared, ready to play,” Rob Norman, activities director for Blue Earth Area, comments.

Indeed, a look back at Bucs basketball during Holmseth’s tenure reveals only two losing seasons, one which was his first year. During this time they have never finished lower than third in the conference and have been knocked out of the playoffs in the first round only twice.

Among the changes Holmseth has seen during his coaching career is the amount of basketball played, not only during the season but also during the off season.

“When I started coaching we only had 19 games in a regular season,” comments Holmseth. “We now play 23 games – but the Minnesota State High School League allows teams to schedule 26 games and most teams around the state do.”

The commitment to basketball continues throughout the year. Holmseth notes, “From June 1st to July 31st we have practices two days a week and play two games each week. We also participate in summer tournaments.”

With 19 years of coaching under his belt, you can bet that there have been many memorable games, and no, not all of them were wins. Among some of the games that came to mind were the five section championship games, although the Bucs went 0-5.

Then there was the stretch of games a couple of years ago when the Bucs defeated Fairmont, Minnesota Valley Lutheran, and Maple River over a 12-day period. All the games were on the road.

“Those schools were all rated in the top 10 at the time,” says Holmseth.

There was one other game Holmseth recalls.

“It was 1992 and we played Fairmont for what used to be the District Championship at Highland Arena in Mankato,” the coach remembers. “It was a packed house and we were able to win the game.”

When asked about the athletes who have played for him, Holmseth mentioned he could remember every player he coached and the year they graduated.

“One of the neatest things,” Holmseth says, “is seeing the kids after they graduate and speaking with them as adults. I have been very lucky to work with excellent coaches and young men who have had skill and were willing to work hard.”

The Bucs open this season Dec. 5 as they host the Albert Lea Tigers.