Bob Brink, one of the winningest coaches in Minnesota boys' basketball history, died at the age of 84 on Saturday, Oct. 9.
As a coach, Brink racked up 936 wins and led the ROCORI Spartans to 13 state tournament appearances. His 936 victories rank second all time in Minnesota boys' basketball history, trailing only Bob McDonald, who won 1,012 games while coaching at McGregor, Barnum and Chisholm.
Brink died just under a year after McDonald, who passed away at age 87 on Oct. 14, 2020.
Brink retired in 2012 and spent the final years of his life alongside his high school sweetheart, Judy Brink, whom he married in 1957.
"His battle with Alzheimer’s in the recent years showed his strength, courage, and continued fight in facing life challenges which has left an unforgettable impression on all of us," his obituary says.
"Bob’s passion for kids, basketball, and cross country will be remembered by many."
Brink's 13 teams that reached the state tournament ranks fifth-most in state history, according to the Minnesota State High School League. Most tourney appearances by a coach:
- 17 – Ken Novak, Jr., Blaine & Hopkins, 1987-2019
- 16 – Tom Vix, Rushford-Peterson, 1989-2018
- 15 – Dave Thorson, DeLaSalle, Minneapolis, 1997-2017
- 14 – Ove Berven, Austin, 1941-1963
- 14 – Clarence "Bun" Fortier, Bemidji, 1950-1969
- 13 – Bob Brink, Rocori, Cold Spring, 1979-2012
- 12 – Zigurds Kauls, Mounds View, 1972-2005
- 11 – Bob McDonald, Chisholm, 1973-2011; John Oxton, Lakeville & Lakeville North, 1995-2019; Lynn Peterson, Staples-Motley, 1981-2001
ROCORI reached the state tournament under Brink in 1979, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2012. The 1988 team won the AA state championship.
Brink, who a member of the basketball coaches association and the MSHSL halls of fame, will be laid to rest on Friday in Cold Spring.