Two Carlton County natives inducted into MGBCA Hall of Fame
Gary Peterson, Beth Clark inducted into Hall of Fame
Two Carlton County natives were inducted into the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on April 26.
Gary Peterson of Barnum of Beth Clark of Cromwell, now of Hermantown, were two of the 2014 inductees.
According to the biographical information for the induction, Gary Peterson graduated from Barnum High School in 1971. He attended Hibbing Junior College, where he played football and basketball. He transferred and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Peterson also earned degrees from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and from Winona State University.
Peterson coached junior high boys basketball from 1977-1980 in Barnum. He then moved on to coach for seven years in Sandstone. He spent one year coaching at Lyle-Pacelli, and spent the next 21 years teaching and coaching in Austin.
In his years coaching girls basketball Peterson won four conference titles, two district titles, was region runner-up three times, won two section championships and had two state basketball appearances. He was also named Section Coach of the Year in 1994, 2003 and 2008. He was named Conference Coach of the Year three times and coached in the Minnesota Girls Basketball All Star Game in 2004.
Peterson has coached boys basketball for three years and girls basketball for 29 years. In the 33 years of coaching basketball his varsity record is 376-315.
Peterson and his wife, Barb, have three grown children: Gabriel, Amber and Brittany. He retired from teaching and coaching in 2012.
Currently, Peterson is a Carlton County Commissioner and a basketball official with the Lake Superior Basketball Association. He is also a substitute teacher.
In a telephone interview, Peterson said he was surprised and honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"I wasn't expecting this," he said. "I have made a lot of friends all over the state. I will always remember those relationships over the years with coaches, players and parents. Some of those players are 50 years old now.
"I think that my coaching has prepared me for the job that I have as county commissioner. I dealt with the public as a coach, and I am dealing with the public as commissioner. We have to work together as a team to get things done."
According to the biography for the induction, Beth Clark grew up in Cromwell, where she participated in athletics, along with her two sisters and brother, and graduated from high school in 1983. Her parents, Don and Rita Clark, still live in the Cromwell area.
After high school Clark earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She was a four-year letter winner in both basketball and softball. After graduation Clark was offered a physical education/health position in the Hermantown School District in 1990. She coached junior high volleyball and basketball at Hermantown in the mid-1980s and eventually was offered the varsity volleyball and varsity basketball coaching positions in 1988.
During Clark's tenure, her volleyball teams won two section championships and participated in the state volleyball tournament in 1994 and 1995. Her basketball teams reached the state tournament in 2002-03, 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. Clark coached both activities until the 2005-06 school year.
In January 2006 Clark took over the Activities/Athletic Director position at Hermantown High School. Because of her responsibilities with the AD position, she gave up the volleyball coaching position but continued to coach the girls basketball team in Hermantown, where she just completed her 26th season. Clark has compiled a 404-269 record over the last 26 years, and she continues to enjoy her time as a coach, teacher and mentor to students.