Wisconsin high school football coach joins national hall of fame

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ELK MOUND — A longtime high school coach in Wisconsin has been added to the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Dan Pedersen told the Leader-Telegram that the prestigious honor is “beyond humbling.” Pedersen spent almost 40 years coaching football, basketball and track at Elk Mound High School. He retired after the 2012 football season.

“This is a tribute to the school district and all the coaches and players I’ve worked with,” he said. “This is a legacy of Elk Mound, and I’m just proud to be a part of it.”

Pedersen “had all the right qualities and demeanor” as a coach, said Jake Morris, the 1992 state player of the year who had a record-setting career as a running back at North Dakota State.

“He was a tremendous coach to me and even more so a great mentor,” Morris said.

Pedersen was able to get the most out of all his players, said Josh Fizel, who quarterbacked the Mounders from 1999-2002.

“He had the ability to push the right buttons, and that is incredibly rare,” Fizel said. “I feel honored to have had the opportunity to play for him. There is not a more deserving person to get this award.”

Fizel is currently the head at Spooner and said Pedersen was the biggest influence on his career.

Pedersen’s football record included 10 Dunn-St. Croix Conference titles and a 45-game conference winning streak. His basketball teams won 360 games and went to 12 conference championships, including two trips to the state finals.

Pedersen was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003.

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