Two weekends of recognition for Coach Grinde

S. Lee Epps

Spring Grove boys basketball coach Wade Grinde, named Class A Boys Basketball State Coach of the Year last spring, was formally recognized with a trophy plus a 25-year service award plaque at the October fall coaching clinic of the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association and honored again in the Twin Cities on another October weekend with two plaques at the annual Awards Banquet of the Minnesota State High School League. 

Grinde, who grew up in Plummer, Minnesota, began his coaching career in the opposite corner of the state as a basketball assistant at Spring Grove (1994-95) before assuming the head coaching post the following season. 

He is now entering his 26th season overall and 25th at the helm after logging his 460th career varsity victory in last season's state tournament third-place game (.731 career winning percentage).

Grinde has been his peers' choice for Section 1A Coach of the Year four times before the current state coaching honor. 

After only six league titles in the preceding 47 seasons, Grinde's Lion lads have won 14 conference championships (all in the last 16 years), including the last nine East Division titles while extending their Southeast Conference winning streak to 74 games. The Lions have won 103 of their last 104 conference contests.

Against strong area competition, Grinde has guided the guys to three sub-section titles (2008, 2016, 2019) and last winter's section championship and third-place state tournament finish. 

The Lions have enjoyed eight straight 20-win seasons - 11 in the last 14 years - including last winter's 25-5 campaign.