Long-time head football coach announces retirement

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 8:39 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2023 at 8:54 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - According to Saint Mary’s Central High School Athletic Director Tanner Purintun, Dan Smrekar has announced his retirement as the head football coach of St. Mary’s Central High School. Smrekar has been the head football coach of the Saints for 45 years and has compiled a career record of 295-168.

Under the leadership of Dan Smrekar, the Saints have won eight state titles and 14 region titles. Smrekar has been selected as the NDHSCA State Coach of the Year six times and was inducted into the NDHSCA Hall of Fame in 2010.

Dan Smrekar
Dan Smrekar(Photo courtesy: St. Mary's Central High School)

“Dan has been a tremendous gift to St. Mary’s Central High School, Saints football and the entire St. Mary’s community for nearly five decades. He’s been a wonderful ambassador for SM Saints football and North Dakota football. The game is better due to him. He was a teacher of the game - and what he taught... he taught exceptionally well. We are grateful that a MN boy decided to make ND - and St. Mary’s - his home for 45 years. He truly is the John Wayne of ND Coaches,” said Gerald Vetter, president of Light of Christ Catholic Schools

“St. Mary’s Central High School has been blessed beyond measure to have a coach like Dan Smrekar for 45 years. His energy and passion was truly something special. He’s won a lot of football games, but even more importantly... he’s impacted a lot of lives. He will be greatly missed, but we are extremely grateful for his service and commitment to St. Mary’s,” said Tanner Purintun, SMCHS director of activities.

A search for the next head football coach at St. Mary’s Central High School will begin immediately.