George Thole, a native of Petaluma, California, received his bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University and his master’s degree from Minnesota State University. He also did graduate work at the University of Minnesota. He taught for 33 years and has 32 years of head coaching experience with one of the most storied coaching careers in the upper Midwest. Thole played football at Petaluma California High School and North Dakota State University, where he was a two-way starter at guard and a hall-of-fame selection. He began his coaching career in 1965 at Central Cass High School in Casselton, North Dakota, where his teams compiled a 27-0 record. Thole and his family moved to Stillwater in 1971. He spent 29 years teaching and coaching football at Stillwater Area High School, contributing to a lifetime coaching record of 285-69-2. His coaching accomplishments include four Minnesota state championships, two state runners-up, 18 state tournament appearances, 17 conference championships, and 12 sectional titles. Thole ranks third on Minnesota’s all-time football victory list. Other personal achievements include 95 coaching awards, 13 community awards, and six hall-of-fame inductions. Thole has worked over 77 football clinics in six states during his career and is honored to be on staff or act as an advisor/chairman to organize and promote a variety of metro, state, and regional football affiliated clinics, committees, commissions, and charities. Past president of the Minnesota State Football Coaches Association, Thole has coached all-star games in Minnesota and Ireland. He was host on the Friday Night Football Scoreboard Show (KSTP 1500 AM radio) in the Twin Cities from 2000 to 2003 and is a current member of the ISD 834 Board of Education. He remains actively involved in football with coaching clinics, speaking engagements, teaching classes on achieving peak performance, sports writing, and advising/reviewing training videos and documentary productions. Thole and his wife, Karen, currently reside in Stillwater, Minnesota. They have been married for 46 years and have two children: Eric, 42, and Kiersten, 38.
Jerry Foley has been recognized with the Butch Nash Award, Assistant Coach of the Year, and All-Star Coach by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association for his coaching accomplishments. He has been inducted into the Hamline University Athletic Hall of Fame, the Minnesota Old-Timers Football Hall of Fame, the Humboldt High School Athletic Hall of Fame, and the St. Croix Valley Sports Hall of Fame. As a collegiate quarterback, Foley won two national titles (NCAA III), leading the nation in both passing and total offense for the 1955 football season. In doing so, he set many national passing records, along with numerous conference and school records, and virtually rewrote the Hamline record book for passing statistics and total offense. Foley’s 33 completions against St. John’s University on October 8, 1955, were national, state, and conference records. His 62 attempts, without interception, was also a national record. Among the many accolades that Foley received as a quarterback at Hamline University, being named to the Williamson Small College All-America Football Team (Honorary Mention) in 1955 ranks high on his list of accomplishments as a student athlete. He was named the Hamline University Alumni Football Coach of the Year for his many contributions to high school football. In 1990, Foley was selected as a coach in the Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game, sponsored and managed by the M.H.S.F.C.A. He received his profession’s highest award when he was chosen as the Assistant Football Coach of the Year for the state of Minnesota in 1990. Upon his retirement, Stillwater Area High School honored Foley with the Jim McLaughlin Coach’s Award in the spring of 2000. Throughout Foley’s teaching and coaching career and into retirement, he has participated in numerous football and sports clinics and speaking engagements, and he has been a valuable resource for area teams in need of his expertise as a football clinician. Foley and his wife, Darlene, live in Stillwater, Minnesota, and are looking forward to watching the exploits of their multitude of grandchildren provided by Brian Foley, Colleen Halverson, and Kathlene Junker.