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Six coaches get NDAPSSA honors

MINOT, N.D. – The North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association selected six veteran coaches to receive its Special Achievement Award. Hank Biesiot, Ryam Brantl, Fred Fridley, Brad Sandy, Duane Schwab and Len Stanley were chosen in 2014 for the honor.

Hank Biesiot After 38 years with the Dickinson State football program, Biesiot retired following the 2013 season.

Biesiot joined the Blue Hawks in 1972 as a defensive coordinator and took over as head coach in 1975. Under his tenure, DSU went 258-122-1, claimed 17 conference championships and made the NAIA playoffs 15 times, including seven of his last 12 seasons.

He finished his career as NAIA’s second all-time winningest coach and was briefly locked in a three-way tie for first at 256 in 2012.

Ryam Brantl Brantl retired last summer from the baseball coaching position he had held at Thompson High School for 37 seasons.

Brantl took a teaching and coaching position at Thompson in 1976 after two years at Grandin.

His Thompson teams compiled a 537-193 record. Over his final 30 seasons, Brantl took the Tommies to 15 Class B state tournaments.

Brantl’s teams won state championships in 1983, 1985, 1999 and 2005.

Fred Fridley The longtime Watford City football coach called it a career after 42 years and nine state championships.

Fridley compiled a 321-103 career record and garnered numerous state and national coaching accolades. The Wolves reached the state championship game 16 times and won 56 straight regular-season contests from 1974-81 under Fridley’s direction.

Brad Sandy Sandy’s fondest memories from his 34-year football coaching career include two sets of three: his three state championships and coaching his three sons.

His first title came in 1998, during his first year at Harvey, and two more followed in 2007 and 2008.

“Obviously, the state championships are pretty special,” said Sandy, who compiled a career record of 204-120. “The first one is always special.”

Duane Schwab After a long career as a basketball coach, including the past 25 seasons as head women’s coach at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, Schwab retired from coaching after this past season.

His last game on the sidelines was when the Lady Royals were eliminated in March at this past season’s junior college national tournament. It was the Lady Royals’ ninth appearance at nationals under Schwab’s leadership.

Len Stanley Stanley, a Mandan native, coached basketball for 41 years before retiring in March.

Stanley, whose 615 career victories are the most all-time according to the Hoopster, built the Washburn girls basketball program into a powerhouse. In 1983 and 1991, he led the Cardinals to Class B state titles, finishing both seasons undefeated.