Last season for an old-school coach

A couple of area kids with a lot of sports talent have gotten plenty of attention in the last few days as they selected which universities they’ll attend, thanks to the recruiting their new schools’ multi-million-dollar coaches have been doing since they were in the eighth grade. At some point — possibly before they graduate with a degree — the NBA and/or NFL riches await. Good luck to them.

Bob McDonald, it’s safe to say, never got rich in basketball; at least where money is concerned. And he probably hasn’t gotten the attention that young high schoolers have received. But he must have gotten something out of it because he’s been the head basketball coach in Chisholm, McGregor, or Barnum for nearly 60 years. He’ll get his 1,000th win sometime this season, which opens next Friday.

Yesterday, McDonald, 80, announced he’s retiring as Chisholm’s coach.

When the young men of Chisholm represented their team, they wore coats and ties and buzz cuts. They still do.

I think it’s come time for me to watch my own kids instead of — not that I didn’t enjoy it — watching other peoples’ kids grow up,” McDonald tells the Duluth News Tribune. “I’ve got some grandkids I want to watch play.”

McDonald was a friend of another Chisholm legend, Archie “Moonlight” Graham, the town doctor who inspired the book (and film) Field of Dreams.

“He and Alicia could have lived up with the high and mighty on Windy Hill, but they chose to be among the common people,” he told the Star Tribune once.

Much like the path of his high school career.