For the first time in Minnesota high school football history, a head coach has reached the 400 win plateau.
As reported by the Grand Forks Herald, Verndale (Minn.) High School coach Mike Mahlen captured his 400th career victory Wednesday night in a 44-6 rout of Rothsay (Minn.) High School. A 51-year coaching veteran, Mahlen leads a nine-man football power in the upper midwest, with the Pirates again ranked among the state’s top-10 teams in the classification in 2019.
Mahlen was already the state’s all-time wins leader before the victory, but he became the first to ever reach that 400 win mark with the mid-week victory during the fall school break.
According to the Herald, Brainerd (Minn.) High School coach Ron Stolski ranks second in the state with 388 victories. Mahlen’s career mark now stands at 400-123-3, with little sign of slowing down.
While Mahlen wasn’t included in this preseason compilation of the 25 winningest active high school football coaches by MaxPreps, his career marks entering the 2019 season should have placed him at 19th nationally, just behind Dorman High School (Roebuck, S.C.) coach Dave Gutshall and just in front of Ohio coaching legend Jim France of Manchester High School (Akron, Ohio).