MINNEAPOLIS, MN – March 21, 2016 - Stan Nelson has already been inducted into multiple halls of fame, and now will add the Bud Grant Distinguished Minnesotan Award to his list of accolades. The Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation will present the award to Nelson at the 9th Annual Minnesota Football Honors on April 17 at the Hilton Minneapolis.
Nelson became a legend at Anoka High School, where he coached the football team for 26 years and the baseball team for seven. The Tornadoes won seven conference football championships under Nelson’s tutelage. Anoka rattled off 33 consecutive wins in a span going through 1964. The 1964 season saw Nelson chosen as the Minnesota Coach of the Year as the Tornadoes were named state champions.
With a career coaching record of 154-70-8, Nelson is a member of the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of fame. He is also enshrined in the Augsburg Hall of Fame, the Anoka High School Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Old Timers Football Hall of Fame. Other notable honors include Augsburg’s Sports Achievement Award in 1979 and the Minnesota High School Athletic Directors Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008. Nelson coached two NFL players during his career, including his son Steve, who was a New England Patriots linebacker for 14 years and followed in his coaching footsteps.
Nelson began his physical education and coaching career at Zumbrota High School following his Navy service in World War II, which included participation in the 1944 Normandy invasion. He coached football, basketball and baseball at Zumbrota from 1946 to 1947. Nelson then moved on to become the football and baseball coach at Farmington High School. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1951.
As a young athlete, Nelson played football, basketball, baseball and golf at Augsburg College after his 1939 graduation from Dawson High School. He captained his football team for two years and earned 12 varsity letters.
Nelson retired from teaching in 1983. He was married to his wife, Marcie, for 64 years and has three children: Cheryl, Steve and Dave. Still active in his 90s, Nelson is a Minnesota Senior Olympics gold medalist in golf.
The 9th Annual Minnesota Football Honors event is presented by the Minnesota Vikings. College and professional football Hall of Fame inductees are scheduled to attend, and WCCO-TV news personality Frank Vascellaro will return for his ninth year as Master of Ceremonies. The event is open to the public. To register or for additional information about this year’s Minnesota Football Honors, please visit www.minnesotafootballhonors.com. For sponsorship information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation
The Minnesota Chapter of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and develop the power of amateur football in developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive spirit and academic excellence in Minnesota’s young people. The MN Chapter recognizes legendary football icons, college football Hall of Famers and Minnesota’s top high school and college football scholar athletes. For more information, visit www.minnesotafootballhonors.com, Facebook or Twitter.
Lindsay Lommel, Event Manager
MN Chapter of The National Football Foundation