By Mike Max

NEW PRAGUE, Minn. (WCCO) — New Prague has enjoyed a successful basketball season, in part because of a second year head coach who came from the north.

“I saw a lot of talent. I was at UMD and I actually recruited a couple of the players during that whole year,” Bryce Tesdahl said. “When the job opened up, it really kind of opened my eyes,”

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His eyes have seen much, because he’s part of the unofficial first family of Minnesota Basketball. His grandfather is Chisholm’s Bob McDonald, the state’s all time winningest coach.

And his mom and dad and uncles — they all coach too. All keeping a watchful eye on the young new members of the coaching fraternity.

“He was a really good player, it was fun watching him coach,” uncle and Ely High School basketball coach Tom McDonald said. “I saw him in the Hibbing tournament and he’s pretty feisty, along with my nephew Rhett at Duluth East, it was kind of fun watching them. I got tired watching them because they’re really, really energetic on the floor.”

Yes, when grandpa sets the tone, you aspire. Because basketball is about being involved in something special.

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“It comes down to two words: respect and relationships,” Tesdahl said. “He built great relationships with student athletes on and off the floor, and through that the kids respected him. Obviously he won a lot of games but I think he won a lot of kids’ lives over as well.”

And Bob keeps an eye on the entire clan.

“He likes it, I think, you know, it’s his legacy,” Tom McDonald said. “There’s so many of us coaching, all his kids and now grandkids and he gets to watch them.”

What grandson hopes is that he is making him proud, not just by winning games, but by coaching kids.

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“High school basketball is kind of all I know and that’s why I took the job,” Tesdahl said, “because that’s where our family has lived for a long, long time, in a gym and coaching high school kids and mentoring these kids to not only be successful on the floor but off the floor as well.”

Mike Max