Lorne Grosso, the winningest boys’ hockey coach at the Minnesota high school level, has done it all at one school.
Grosso at Rochester Mayo
• Hired at age 24 to coach hockey and teach Latin when the school opened in 1966-67.
• Took a sabbatical to Italy and missed the 1987-88 season.
• Surpassed Edina coach Willard Ikola’s previous record of 616 career victories during the 2010-11 season.
• Received the American Hockey Coaches Association’s John Mariucci Award in 2013. Inducted into the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014 along with Albert Lea coach Roy Nystrom, his former linemate and roommate at Minnesota.
BEHIND THE BENCH
Sin bin abstinence: Grosso studied to become a Catholic priest, and though he left the novitiate, strong values followed him to coaching. He has never received a bench penalty for arguing or using salty language. Players miss a period of action for cursing.
Crossing the border: Lou Nanne, Grosso’s cousin, suggested he play hockey for the Gophers after convincing coach John Mariucci to offer him a scholarship. Grosso, who grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, accepted despite not knowing where Minnesota was located. That’s OK. Mariucci had never seen Grosso play.
Assisting on goals: Spartans’ players read and pass around a copy of ‘‘The Greatest Salesman in the World,’’ a 1968 book by Og Mandino. Co-captains Max Billings and Nick Norby said the book encourages goal setting, hard work and patience.
Not about Uncle Lorne: Tony Grosso played for his uncle on the 1995 Class 2A state tournament team and admired his selfless approach. “It was never about him. My uncle truly cared about players and making them successful in hockey and in their lives.”
DAVID LA VAQUE