Williams Ties Peterson on Owatonna’s All-Time Wins List
Owatonna's 24-20 football victory over Mankato West on the Huskies' homecoming was notable for its come from behind dramatics and for being career win number 179 for coach Jeff Williams in his 24th season as head coach. That ties Jerry Peterson's mark at OHS. Peterson also won ten games coaching at Walnut Grove before coming to coach the then-Indians in 1966.
Williams addressed the milestone on Saturday's AM 1390 KRFO Coaches Show, "We've had a tremendous amount of continuity in our program. Jerry came in 1966. Lyndon Johnson was the President of the United States. We were in the midst of the Vietnam War. In fact, it was still fairly early in the Vietnam War...To have two coaching staffs over that length of time is just phenomenal."
"Jerry assembled a great staff. I got to be a part of that for seven years, working with Ed Draheim. Ken Bey had just retired when I joined. Gary Ridge, Wayne Ebert, Jerry Urness, just a great bunch of coaches."
Williams added, "I think we've done something similar. To be able to assemble the staff that we have and have these guys in place for such a long period of time...Doug Wanous does just an unbelievable job scheming things up offensively. Marc Achterkirch is easily the best defensive coordinator in the state of Minnesota. The list just goes on."
Other coaches listed in the team's game-day program include Jerry Eggermont, Dean Walters, Marc Wiese, Matt Skala, Steve Noasconi, Nate Skala, Mark Clauson, Neil Thompson, Kevin Stelter, Steve Zappa, Kyle Melcher, Seth Muir, Adam Woitalla, Eric Johnson, Turnar Kist, Cole Orlowski, and Gary Rusinko. Statisticians Keith Bangs and Mark Sebring are also longtime members of the overall crew.
Peterson's 189 overall career wins ranked him 72nd on the state's all-time list entering this season, according to the Minnesota Football Coaches Association website. Peterson coached 30 seasons and ended with a 189-107 overall record. He is a member of the coaches association hall of fame and the Owatonna High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Williams entered 2019 with 173 career wins, which was tied for 109th all-time. Bubba Sullivan with Northfield is tops among active coaches in the Big Southeast District with 206 victories. Retired coaches who spent time in the Big Nine include Rich Oliphant (198 wins), Louis Todnem (192 wins), and John Drews (176 wins).
Among active Big Southeast coaches, Williams leads the way in victories. Jon Vik of Rochester Century entered this season with 84 wins over 17 years, Ned Louis of Faribault had 79 in 15 seasons, and John Cassellius had 67 over a dozen seasons.
The overall top spot belongs to Mike Mahlen of Verndale who entered 2019 with 393 career wins over 50 years. Ron Stolski of Brainerd had 386 over 57 years, Dwight Lundeen with Becker had 359 in 49 years, and Mike Grant entered the season with 344 wins over 56 seasons. Each of the top four is still coaching.
Owatonna remains top-ranked in the latest poll going into their home, regular-season finale Friday, October 11 against Mankato East. Pregame begins at 6:45 pm on AM 1390 KRFO and the KRFO app. Tune to Kat Kountry 105 or the Kat Kountry 105 app for the "Garage Force of Faribault Friday Night Blitz" recap show at 9:30 pm.
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