Kehrberg earns selection to golf coaches’ Hall of Fame

Dan Kehrberg

FAIRMONT — Dan Kehrberg assembled a prolific resume’ during his three-decade career of coaching boys golf at Fairmont High School.

Kehrberg made an indelible mark during his initial season at the Cardinals’ helm, guiding the program to a third-place finish at the 1969 Minnesota Class AA state golf tournament.

The former Fairmont High School biology teacher would lead the Cardinals to seven more state team bids, including another bronze-medal showing in 1981, fourth-place finishes in 1977 and 1990, and fifth-place performances in 1970 and 1989.

When Kehrberg retired from coaching in 1998, the legendary mentor had produced 870 victories, 16 South Central Conference championships and eight District 5 or Sub-Section crowns to complement his eight sectional and/or regional titles.

Now, Kehrberg will take his rightful place in the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame, joining Rosemount girls golf coach Barry Wallin and Detroit Lakes boys golf coach Bob Gorden as this year’s honorees.

Kehrberg and Gorden will be inducted at the Class AA state tournament banquet at 7 p.m. Monday, June 11, at The Park Ballroom in New Prague. Wallin will be inducted at the Class AAA state meet’s banquet at 7 p.m. June 11 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Park.

“It’s a great honor to be selected to the Minnesota golf coaches’ hall of fame,” said Kehrberg. “(Former Fairmont girls golf coach) Ron (Kallheim) called me (April 19) to give me the news.

“I am truly humbled and not quite sure if I’m worthy of the honor, but I appreciate it. It was definitely unexpected.”

Ironically, Kehrberg and Kallheim, whose outstanding golf coaching careers overlapped in Fairmont, will be inducted into the hall of fame that the opposite mentor already is a member.

Kehrberg will join Kallheim, who took his place in the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association in 2015, while Kallheim will be enshrined in the Fairmont Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the high school. Kehrberg earned selection to the Fairmont Hall of Fame in 2007.

“When we started looking at the current members in the golf coaches’ hall of fame, we were a bit surprised that Dan had not already been inducted, especially considering the great success that his program had over the course of 30 years,” Kallheim said in reference to himself and former United South Central golf mentor Jeff Pitts.

Pitts was chosen to the golf coaches’ honored ranks in 2004. “So, we nominated him (Kehrberg). The numbers speak for themselves.

“I’m so glad to see him (Kehrberg) receiving an honor he really deserves.”

Kehrberg humbly denies being a hall of fame-caliber coach, but rather gives credit to the Fairmont community and school system for the Cardinals’ incredible success through the decades.

“I was the beneficiary of a unique situation when I came to Fairmont. It’s a town of 10,000 that then operated two 18-hole golf courses and a par-3 course,” said Kehrberg. “As a coach, I didn’t have to compete for course time with the girls varsity or either junior high programs. When you wanted to go hit, one of the three courses was available and that’s invaluable.

“Obviously, if a community can support three different courses, then it goes hand-in-hand with a lot of people who like to play the sport. Consequently, their kids enjoyed the game and it was easy to get outstanding golfers to play for the program.”

In spite of denying his outstanding ability to teach the game of golf at its highest prep pinnacle, Kehrberg could not be denied selection to the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association in June.

Family, friends, former players and coaches interested in attending the banquet can purchase tickets by contacting Class AA banquet manager Mike Frankenfield at (507) 413-2632 or by emailing Michael.Frankenfield@ssm.org.

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