Longtime Oak Grove teacher, basketball coach gets memorable retirement sendoff

Marc Langseth first walked onto Oak Grove's campus as a student in 1965.

We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — For more than a half-century, Marc Langseth and Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo have been inseparable, but now the beloved teacher is calling time on his career.

On Thursday, Nov. 5, Grover students and staff lined the sidewalk on the Oak Grove campus, not t o say farewell, but simply, "thank you."

Langseth first walked onto Oak Grove's campus as a student in 1965.

"The dorm dean grabbed me by the arm — he was also the football coach at the time — and he said, 'I need a student manager,' because I was about 90 pounds and we didn't have a JV, so I was going to be playing against the big guys."

Fifty-five years later, having been a student and athlete, then dedicating 43 years on the staff teaching math and coaching basketball, Langseth walked out of the building for what he thought was a fire alarm. Instead, it was a walk of fame, with a standing ovation. A no more fitting sendoff for a figure cemented in Oak Grove's foundation.


"Oak Grove has been my life, and I feel it was my calling to be here," Langseth said.

Long-time friends along with his loving wife, his kids, and grandkids were all there to recognize him.

John Conant was a student and a basketball player under Langseth, then teaching and coaching alongside him. They developed a friendship spanning 45 years.

"Oak Grove won't be the same," Conant said. "He's a legacy. He's an icon. He loves kids; he loves teaching; he just loves the institution of Oak Grove."

Nearly all Langseth's own kids also attended the school.

"You just cannot imagine this place without him," said Langseth's daughter Heather Marcella. "They're intertwined forever,"

"'Proud' is the only word I can think of right now," said his youngest daughter Hannah Grubb. "My dad has just sacrificed the amount of time, effort, tears, laughter he's put into this place."

His loving wife, Mary Langseth, is just as much a part of the Oak Grove fabric as he is.


"We're still going to be here. We'll be here at basketball games, volleyball games. I mean, Marc wants to have lunch with the teachers and, to tell you the truth, it might be good to get him out of the house, too," Mary Langseth said.

Marc Langseth leaves behind countless memories, knowing it was all for the sake of the kids.

"You do it for the kids, and I still love them," he said. "I would do another 15 if I had it in me. Teaching was in my heart, but really, Oak Grove was in my heart, and so it was just to right place for me to be for a really long time."

Langseth plans to enjoy retirement, and spend time with his five grandchildren.

What to read next
Erik Schmidt shared with WDAY News the story of how his wife and newborn son tragically passed within days of each other.
Northern Minnesota research published in the journal Nature found modest warming may devastate some tree species.