February 11, 2009

Pipers mourn passing of beloved former coach Kent Stahly

The hall of fame coach holds a unique distinction in the MIAC, having coached teams in three different sports to conference championships.

Stahly began coaching at Hamline in 1965 and retired in 1999. He served as assistant basketball coach, assistant football coach, head cross-country coach, and head men's track and field coach. Stahly also served as chair of the health and physical education department.

“Kent had a positive impact on hundreds of student-athletes during his career at Hamline. He was a coach who taught more then just the sport. Because of his teaching and mentoring, we not only became better athletes, we became better people,” said Hamline University director of track and field operations, Paul Schmaedeke ‘77. Schmaedeke competed for and coached with Stahly for 22 years.

Stahly’s track and field teams won nine MIAC championships from 1974 to 1982, and finished second at the NCAA Division III championships in 1982 and 1983. Through 1993, his track teams earned 79 All-American honors and had twelve individual national champions.

Stahly started the cross country program at Hamline in 1966 and the indoor track and field program in 1967. His cross country teams won MIAC championships in 1973, 1975 and 1977, and he coached six NCAA Division III All-Americans in cross country.
He was also the offensive line coach for Hamline’s 1966 MIAC champion football team.

Stahly was inducted into the Hamline athletics hall of fame in 1986.

He is survived by his wife Beverly, their son Doug and his wife Hope, daughter Sandy and her husband Kevin Rosbacka, and four grandchildren – Emily, Brady, Dana, and Mac.

Calling hours are from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, February 20, at the Roseville Chapel. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 21, at 10 a.m. at the Hamline United Methodist Church. A reception will follow the service at the church.