Iconic Basketball Coach Bob McDonald Passes Away

His 1,012 career coaching wins are the most all-time in the state of Minnesota and one of only 13 in the entire country with that amount.

HIBBING, Minn. – Longtime Chisholm boys basketball coach Bob McDonald, whose career spanned nearly six decades, died Wednesday morning at his home in Hibbing at the age of 87. He was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. MSHSL spokesperson John Millea was the first to report the news.

McDonald began his coaching career in 1959 with stops at McGregor and Barnum before returning to his hometown of Chisholm from 1961 to 2014. In that time period, he led the Bluestreaks to 11 state tournament appearances and three state championships. His 1,012 career coaching wins are the most all-time in the state of Minnesota and one of only 13 in the entire country with that amount.

In 2017, the Chisholm School District named their gym Bob McDonald Court in honor of the iconic coach. He is a member of the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame and National High School Hall of Fame. Since the 2017-2018 MSHSL boys basketball season, the McDonald Award was given to the state’s best senior player.

The McDonald coaching family has been a staple across the entire state of Minnesota. His sons Mike, Tom and Joel coach at Cambridge-Isanti, Ely and Hibbing, respectively. Mike’s son Rhett is the head coach of the Duluth East boys basketball team.

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