From the small town of Wessington Springs to the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, Max Hawk has many memories throughout his 83 year old life. His coaching career started in eleven man football in Scotland, South Dakota.
“I came down there,” said Hawk. “They were a basketball town, and they told me that. I said ‘Well I’ll try not to screw it up cause I’m an assistant basketball coach, too.’ They didn’t realize how good those kids could be in football. Those farm kids. They didn’t get that.”
Hawk spent eight years in Scotland turning a basketball school into a football school.
“They were good football players,” said Hawk. “All of them. We had seven championship years.”
Then the call happened.
“I was waiting for Yankton,” said Hawk. “To me Yankton was the best high school football job in South Dakota at the time. I never dreamed I could get that. They called me and wanted me to come and interview for an assistant job, and I said thank you, but I don’t think so. Two or three weeks later they call me up and say head job is open will you come.”
The rest is history for coach Hawk. 284 wins, 18 conference championships and ten state titles. Hawk held on to the most coaching wins in South Dakota history until last year when recently retired O’Gorman coach Steve Keuter won game number 285. A record that stood for 21 years.
“Records are made to be broken,” said Hawk. “I’ve always said that. I never complained that anybody broke a record.”
While the records are important, Hawk knows there is more important goals to coaching than the numbers next to your name.
“A lot of satisfaction that I got kids finding success,” said Hawk.