Stillwater’s Brian Luke is being recognized this fall for his more than four decades of positive impact on athletes and the tremendous achievements by the girls’ and boys’ swimming and diving teams.
Luke is one of six coaches slated to join the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame as part of this year’s festivities. The annual recognition banquet will take place on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Minneapolis Sheraton West.
Joining Luke in this year’s induction class are Robert Bonk of Fairmont, Dave Galovich of Crosby-Ironton, James Musburger of Strandquist/Karlstad, Craig Nelson of Luverne, and Dave Palmquist of South St. Paul.
“That’s a really neat thing,” Luke said. “It’s humbling, but neat. There’s a lot of great coaches in there.”
Luke will become the fourth Stillwater head coach to enter the hall of fame, joining 2018 inductee Scott Christensen, Bill Simpson (2005) and George Thole (2001).
Luke’s father, Elmer Luke, who also served as an assistant coach with Brian following an illustrious career at Hopkins-Lindbergh, was inducted into the MSHSCA Hall of Fame in 2005.
“My dad is in there, so it will be fun to join him,” Luke said.
Luke (2012) and his father (1990) were also previously inducted into the Minnesota State Swimming and Diving Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
This will mark Brian’s 45th year leading the girls’ and boys’ programs at Stillwater.
The Stillwater girls carry a remarkable streak into the season with 158 consecutive dual meet victories dating back to 2003 — and 135 straight against conference opponents dating back to 2002. The previous state record for consecutive victories in the sport was held at 124 by teams coached by Elmer Luke. The Stillwater boys are also on a nice run with 46 consecutive dual meet victories.
In 44 previous seasons leading the Stillwater girls’ program, Luke has compiled a 374-53-4 dual meet record with 26 conference championships. When you add the 319-88-3 record leading the Stillwater boys, his overall mark is an impressive 693-141-7 with a total of 48 conference titles (26 girls, 22 boys), 35 MSHSL section championships (19 girls, 16 boys), four MSHSL state titles (girls) and seven True Team state championships (girls).
His athletes have also racked up 26 individual state titles (18 girls, 8 boys) and eight state relay championships (7 girls, 1 boys). The Stillwater girls won MSHSL state championships in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009 and have placed among the top five at state 11 of the past 15 years, including top-three finishes seven times.
Luke was also one of the coaches who helped push for the creation of the True Team state meet, which has been a tremendous success while prioritizing and rewarding depth. His teams are always among the largest in the state.
In addition to the Hall of Fame induction by the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association, Luke will also be honored with an Alumni Achievement Award by Southwest Minnesota State University on Friday, Oct. 11, one day prior to his MSHSCA Hall of Fame induction.
Luke, who swam for the Mustangs before graduating in 1975, is one of three who will be honored this year.
The Alumni Achievement Award is “presented to a graduate in recognition of their remarkable professional success and the positive reflection made on the reputation of all graduates of SMSU.
Contact Stuart Groskreutz at firstname.lastname@example.org