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Storied Minnesota football coach George Larson dies at 89

Larson, who coached in the Cambridge-Isanti School District for nearly four decades, was among the winningest high school football coaches in Minnesota.

CAMBRIDGE, Minn. — George Larson, a longtime Minnesota high school football coach and recipient of numerous awards and honors, has died at the age of 89.

Larson, who lived in Cambridge, passed away on April 29 while surrounded by family at home.

As one of the winningest high school football coaches in Minnesota history with 25 conference championships and three state championships, Larson was the member of multiple Hall of Fames, including Bluejacket, Minnesota Football Coaches, Minnesota Athletic Directors and the Minnesota High School League.

In 2018 he was the recipient of the John Gagliardi Legacy Award.

According to his obituary, Larson was born on a small family farm in Bryant, South Dakota on July 12, 1932 to parents Edward and Alma Larson. After enlisting in the Army during the Korean War, George returned home and intended to go into the family farming business. 

Instead, after a visit to Northern State in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Larson went to college and played football. It was there that Larson met his wife Joyce, who he credited with his success as a coach for nearly four decades, his obituary says.

Larson was hired by the Cambridge-Isanti School District in 1958 as a teacher and football coach, and eventually became the athletic director. Coach Larson secured his place in the record books with a 307-66-6 record in his 38 years as head coach, and was named Minnesota Football Coach of the Year in 1971 and 1986.

Larson is survived by his wife of 66 years, Joyce, his children Ed Larson, Bill (Sandy) Larson, Lori (Steve) Morin, and Richard Larson; 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

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