Duane Carlson's Lasting Legacy in Minot Athletics

Published: Jul. 18, 2019 at 9:46 AM CDT
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Magician Football returns for a new season on Friday, Aug. 30 against Red River on a field named after a local sports legend.

Duane Carlson's legendary Minot athletic career led to the Magi Football Stadium bearing his name. What happened on the field was only part of the reason why.

"Duane was the type of guy that you really wanted to play for. He was so respectful to his athletes and a great coach, but yet a better person," said retired Minot Public Schools Assistant Principal/Teacher Jack Nybakken.

Carlson kept family values both on campus and at home.

"He was extremely patient. Whenever I would mess up he wouldn't fly off the handle. He'd let things simmer down and then firmly, calmly tell me where I messed up," said Carlson's son Kurt.

"My grandpa was definitely somebody to always look up to. He took a lot of pride in what he did, and he had a lot of passion for what he did... He really cared about the people that he worked with, and so I would say that's one of the things that's been most impactful for me in trying to kind of model that in my career," said Carlson's granddaughter, Sara Deutsch.

Deutsch followed in her grandfather's footsteps, joining Minot Public Schools as a physical education teacher at Jim Hill Middle School. She said she remembers what he taught her as she leads today's students.

"One of the biggest qualities that he had was always giving 100% and working your hardest and never giving up-- just trying to always keep a positive attitude. I would say he was one of my biggest inspirations leading myself into a career in education. Every morning when I drive to work I get to see the Duane Carlson Stadium, and it's kind of a neat little thing to enter the building to and exit the building to every single day," Deutsch said.

Carlson led the Magicians to an 83-50-10 record and finished his tenure as Athletic Director in 1983, but he was never far from Magic City sports in retirement.

"He followed Minot High School, he followed Minot State, he was just really into the Minot community, as far as the athletic programs. I can't imagine it without Duane Carlson. He was just a really genuine person, and his athletes just had tremendous respect for him," said Nybakken.

As the years went by, his impact remained on the community.

"I read a lot of the letters that were written for his dedication, and he was very well-loved as a person. When he passed away, one of the letters said that he was able to combine pride with humility. He was very proud to be the coach at Minot High and be the [athletic director], but he was also very humble about it. He didn't really have an arrogant bone in his body," said Kurt.

Kurt added that his father would be happy with the stadium adding turf to enrich the girls soccer program and provide more playing opportunities.

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