Anoka’s Stan Nelson will be honored by the National Football Foundation on April 17
Stan Nelson will add another award to his already long list of distinguished honors as he will be presented with the Bud Grant Distinguished Minnesotan Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation during the ninth-annual Minnesota Football Honors on April 17 at the Hilton Minneapolis.
Nelson, 95, became a legendary coach at Anoka High School during his 26 years guiding the football program (154-70-8) and seven years as the baseball coach. During his tenure, Anoka football won seven conference championships and won 33 consecutive games through 1964. That year also saw the Tornadoes clinch the state title and Nelson named Minnesota Coach of the Year.
A member of the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame and Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Nelson is also a member of the Augsburg College Hall of Fame, Anoka High School Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Old Timers Football Hall of Fame. In 1979 he received the Augsburg College Sports Achievement Award and in 2008 the Minnesota High School Athletic Directors Distinguished Alumni Award.
Nelson began his coaching and teaching 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 1946-1947. He moved on to coach football and baseball at Farmington High School while earning his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1951.
Nelson graduated from Dawson High School in 1939 where he captained the football team for two years and earned 12 varsity letters before embarking on a three-sport collegiate career playing football, basketball and baseball at Augsburg College.
Nelson was married to his wife, Marcie, for 64 years and the couple have three children: Cheryl, Steve and Dave.
Nelson coached two NFL players including his son, Steve, who was a linebacker for the New England Patriots for 14 years before embarking on a coaching career of his own. Son Dave Nelson and Cheryl King caught the teaching and coaching bug as each have had very successful careers. Dave coached Blaine High School to the 1988 state football title and is currently the Minnetonka High School football coach. In February, King received the Marie Berg Award for Excellence in Education during the 30th annual Minnesota Girls and Women in Sports Day.
After 35 years of coaching, she retired in 2009.
The Minnesota Vikings are the presenting sponsor of the ninth-annual Minnesota Football Honors event with several college and professional football Hall of Fame inductees scheduled to attend the event that is open to the public. WCCO-TV anchor Frank Vascellaro will be master of ceremonies. To register or for additional information visit minnesotafootballhonors.com.