NDAPSSA recognizes those for special achievement
BISMARCK (AP) -- Four longtime coaches and a well-known member of the Fargo baseball community have received year-end awards from the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Darrel Anderson, Barry Holmen, Greg Ladoucer, Don Larson and Jim Pettersen have been selected for the Special Achievement award.
Anderson retired as track and field coach at Bismarck High School after 30 seasons, leading the Demons to 14 state championships, including 11 in a row from 2004-2014. Anderson was named the 2012 national coach of the year.
BHS athletes won 91 individual state championships under Anderson, including 40 relay titles.
"It's been a real privilege to make Bismarck High relevant in track over the years," Anderson said. "I didn't start it, and to bring it forward was not easy. ... It required assistant coaches and athletes with passion."
Anderson will coach one final season of cross country for the Demons. The upcoming season will be his 40th. The 1973 BHS grad has led the Demons to 11 cross country championships.
Holmen spent the past 35 years on the Minot High football coaching staff, including the last 15 as head coach before resigning his position in February.
During Holmen’s tenure in charge, the Magicians had a record of 112-50, including Class AAA runner-up finishes in 2006, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Holmen also was an assistant track coach for the Magi from 1990-2004 and 2015-2020, and head coach from 2005-2010. Minot produced 11 state champions under Holmen, who worked specifically with hurdlers and high jumpers.
LaDouceur retired this spring after serving as a head high school tennis coach in Grand Forks for 30 years, first at Grand Forks Central, then at Grand Forks Red River.
His teams won 21 state team championships -- one with the Central boys program, 15 with the Red River boys team and five with the Red River girls program. LaDouceur had 19 teams that had undefeated seasons.
His players won a total of 15 singles and 20 doubles state championships. LaDouceur has been a part of two of the longest winning streaks in the state’s history.
LaDouceur has been the Red River boys tennis coach since the fall of 2001. He succeeded Kerry Jaeger, whose team closed the 2000 season with 11 straight dual wins. The Roughriders didn’t lose again until the 2015 season -- a run of 211 consecutive dual wins.
LaDouceur replaced Tim Wynne as the Riders girls tennis coach in 2012 in the midst of another long winning streak. The team would extend its run to 203 consecutive dual wins before suffering a loss in the 2016 season.
He was named 2012 national tennis coach of the year and a finalist two other times. LaDouceur was inducted into the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2016.
The plan this spring for Don Larson was to coach the North Dakota State men’s track and field team like he has for the last 41 years. The hope was the season would culminate with another Summit League Outdoor Track and Field team title and then he was to share some news to his athletes: He’s retiring.
The news came earlier than expected. One of the most successful coaches in school history in any sport called it a career in late March. The end came sooner and not as anybody would have wanted with spring sports being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Yeah, would I like to do it forever?” Larson said. “But there comes a point and time. We have an amazing staff and the things they’re able to do for us. But there comes a time.”
Larson will leave with 11 Summit outdoor titles in the 12 years the Bison have been in the league including the last 10 in a row. In all, he won 58 conference championships that includes indoor track and field and cross country.
Pettersen left a baseball legacy in the Fargo-Moorhead area and beyond. He was the head coach at North Dakota State from 1985-1992, winning 131 games, the third-most coaching wins in program history.
Pettersen, Fargo Post 2 Legion baseball chairman, died April 15, after a battle with COVID-19. He was 75 years old. Pettersen was hospitalized in Phoenix in early April after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Pettersen was the chairman of a Post 2 team that advanced to the American Legion World Series championship game last summer.
To earn the honor, recipients had to achieve 75% voting by the NDAPSSA.