Reporting John Lauritsen
STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO) – Winning streaks are fun no matter what the sport; they’re even more fun when they last for nine consecutive years.
That’s a reality for the Stillwater girls swim team.
“It’s been a long time since we lost. Long time. And I’m super proud of him,” said Jane Luke.
Jane is talking about her husband, Brian. He’s been the head coach for Stillwater High School’s girls swim team for 38 years.
There have been good years and bad, but the past nine have been nearly perfect.
“Once we hit 90 at the end of last year, then it got to the point where it was little more nerve-racking,” Brian said.
On Tuesday night against Cretin-Derham Hall, the girls swim team captured its 100th-consecutive dual meet win.
Stillwater hasn’t lost since 2003 and has won seven True Team State titles since.
But it’s not even the longest streak in the Luke family.
Brian’s dad, Elmer, has 124 consecutive wins — a state record. That happened when Elmer was coach at Hopkins-Lindbergh from the late 1970s to mid-1980s.
It’s a streak that covered most of the Carter and Reagan administrations.
“I’m very pleased with what he does; happy he’s been able to get to 100. But I don’t know if I want him to beat 124. He’s a great dad and a great coach,” said Elmer.
Nothing would make Elmer more proud than seeing his son surpass his streak.
This has become a Luke family affair, with Elmer still helping out, Brian’s wife doing the announcements, and his daughter and niece keeping score at meets.
The family has made a splash, and the program has benefited.
“The whole program gets put together,” Brian said. “The kids have a good time. It’s fun to win, but that’s an off-shoot of putting the program together. Parents, swimmers, assistant coaches; they have all played a role in this.
Brian was inducted into the Minnesota Coaches Swimming Hall of Fame this past spring.
His dad and his uncle are also Hall of Fame inductees.