MHCA inducts four into Hall of Fame

The Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association (MHCA) inducted four hockey legends into the Hall of Fame during the boys’ high school state tournament. Harry Brown, Cary Eades, Keith Schafer and Chuck Watson are the 2012 inductees.


Harry Brown

If one were to make a list of some of the most influential people in the history of Minnesota hockey, Dr.Harry Brown’s name would need to appear in a prominent position. Harry was an important force in Minneapolis high school hockey from 1955 through 1967. He was the head coach at North High School and Patrick Henry High School during those years. While at Patrick Henry he won a city conference championship and led his team to a third-place finish at the Minnesota State High School Tournament.

All elite level hockey players owe a debt of gratitude to “Doc Brown.” He worked tirelessly to expand and improve development opportunities for the high school player both during their careers and after their high school playing days were completed. At a time when the Minnesota State High School League would not even allow a player to skate and train in the offseason, Harry was successful in bringing and winning a lawsuit to allow those players to pursue on-ice development during the offseason. The first fall development leagues were founded and run by Harry Brown. He also was the driving force in establishing junior hockey in Minnesota so that post graduates would have a further opportunity to develop.

After his years with Minneapolis hockey, Harry went onto serve as the Boston Bruins’ head scout for both the United States and Canada from 1967 through 1975. During those years the Bruins won two Stanly Cup Championships.

Harry Joseph Brown takes incredible pride in the 11 children he and his wife raised together. During this time, he earned his Masters degree, completed a Ph.D., and authored two books on hockey instruction.

It is because of visionaries such as Harry Brown that Minnesota’s hockey tradition is one of the best in all of amateur sport.

Cary Eades

Cary Eades oversaw one of the greatest decades experienced by any Minnesota high school hockey program, leading the legendary Warroad Warriors to three Class A state titles from 1994-2004. Warroad advanced to seven state tournaments during Eades’ 11 years at the helm and sent players such as T.J. Oshie, Kyle Hardwick, Eric Olimb, Aaron Marvin, Matt Ulwelling, Wyatt Smith and many more on to higher levels of hockey. Eades posted a 237-62-6 (.787) overall record and was the 1996 Minnesota State High School Coach of the Year and a three-time Section 8 Coach of the Year.

In a four-year playing career at the University of North Dakota (1978-82) in which he won two national championships (1980 and 1982), Eades finished as the school’s ninth-leading career goal scorer with 85. He also played two seasons in the St. Louis Blues organization before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach from 1984-91 under former coach Gino Gasparini. Eades then spent two seasons as general manager and coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL), winning the 1993 junior national title, before taking over at Warroad.

After his wildly successful stint with the Warriors, Eades returned to North Dakota as an associate head coach under coach Dave Hakstol. His current duties include coaching the team’s defensemen and the power play. Eades is also heavily involved with USA Hockey and was named head coach of the 2006 USA Hockey Under-17 team that participated in the Three Nations Tournament in Rochester, N.Y.

Keith Schafer
By John Sherman

When former Wayzata hockey coach Keith Schafer found out he had been nominated for the Minnesota High School Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame, he was stunned.

And when he learned he had been elected, he was humbled.

“When you are coaching, you don’t ever think about getting an award like this,” he said. “I didn’t ever have a state tournament team, but I was able to find the positives. I built my career on class, respect, sportsmanship and playing the game the right way, win, lose or draw.”

Former Lake Conference rivals have good memories of Schafer on and off the ice.

“Keith was very dedicated to his team and his players,” said former Richfield head coach Mike Thomas.

Former Bloomington Jefferson coach Tom Saterdalen said, “You won’t find a nicer gentleman or a classier guy than Keith. It was always fun to play against his teams because you knew you would get an honest game.”

Schafer, who was head boys’ hockey coach at Wayzata (1971-79) also served two years as head girls’ hockey coach at the school. He had stints as a head coach at Shakopee and St. Louis Park High Schools, as well.

More than anything else, though, Schafer bled Wayzata Blue & Gold.

He was born in downtown Wayzata and graduated from Wayzata High in 1954.

During a distinguished high school athletic career, Schafer won four varsity letters in baseball, three in football and one in hockey.

Hockey became an official Wayzata High sport in Schafer’s senior season, and he helped the Trojans qualify for the 1954 state tournament.

“The school board approved a team for the 1953-54 season, and we finished third in the Lake Conference behind St. Louis Park and Edina,” Schafer recalled. “Then we won the region tournament and went to state. I played defense with Paul Klapprich. Larry Fadden was our best player.”

After high school, Schafer was asked to walk on for hockey at the University of Minnesota by coach John Mariucci.

Instead, he chose to continue his athletic career at St. Cloud State.

“At St. Cloud, I thought I would have a chance to play more than one sport,” said Schafer.

It turned out he was right.

“I was able to play football and hockey as a freshman,” he said. “I continued in hockey and was co-captain as a senior. I also played baseball, starting in my junior year.”

Following his college career, the 1959 graduate had two teaching offers – one at Wayzata High and one at Aurora-Hoyt Lakes High.

At Aurora-Hoyt Lakes, he would have been head hockey coach.

“Coming back to Wayzata made sense,” he said. “I had lived there most of my life.”

It was a choice he would not regret.

“I taught in Wayzata for 36 years and coached for 42 years,” he said. “I had great mentors – Jim Graven, my athletic director, and Bill Manning, the principal. I enjoyed teaching and coaching here.”

The former Trojan hockey coach retired as a health and phy ed teacher in 1995. But he has never fully retired. He coached sophomore football at Wayzata for 42 seasons.

Fact is, Schafer is still teaching driver’s ed in the Wayzata School District.

“I have had more than 3,000 driving students over the years, and I still teach driving 5-6 days a week after school,” he said. “It keeps me young. And it helps pay for my golf habit.”

Chuck Watson

Known as the “father of Moorhead High School hockey,” Watson was responsible for kicking off the varsity program in a town that is now synonymous with the sport. Before Watson arrived in Moorhead in the late 1950s, the community was largely known for its basketball and had only a park hockey program hanging on by its fingernails. But he fought to expand the program and add a high school team – and in 1964 was named its first coach.

Watson coached the Spuds for eight years, during which the team went from practicing and playing outdoors, to making 5 a.m. treks over to the Coliseum in Fargo, to sharing a horse barn with the 4H at Centennial Park, to the eventual promise of the Moorhead Sports Center.

A stern but fair coach, Watson’s first team surprised him by going 5-4-2, and the winning hasn’t ceased at Moorhead since. Among his numerous former players was one of his final captains on the 1971-72 team, current Spuds’ coach Dave Morinville. Watson’s final coaching record at Moorhead was 60-65-5.

Watson grew up playing park hockey in North Minneapolis and also was a member of the first-ever Bemidji State University team in 1947.