Max Hawk

Former Yankton High School football coach Max Hawk, right, has a conversation in the bleachers prior to a Bucks' 2015 matchup with O'Gorman. O'Gorman head coach Steve Kueter tied Hawk as the state's all-time leader in football coaching victories with the Knights win over Yankton.

Former Yankton coaching great Max Hawk passed away in Arizona Friday at age 87.

Hawk coached the Yankton football team for 30 years, winning 17 Eastern South Dakota Conference and eight state championships. Prior to his tenure in Yankton, he spent eight years coaching and teaching in Scotland. When he retired after the 1994 season, he was South Dakota’s winningest football coach at 284 victories, 78 losses and two ties.

Hawk also served as the executive director of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association (SDHSCA). He was also a lifetime member of the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s (NHSACA) Board of Directors, serving as the association’s president in 1980.

He earned multiple South Dakota Football Coach of the Year honors, as well as National Football Coach of the Year in 1986. He has been inducted into the athletic Halls of Fame for Yankton High School and Northern State University, as well as the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, the SDHSCA Hall of Fame and the NHSACA Hall of Fame.

According to the obituary received Friday by the Press & Dakotan, a celebration of his life will take place in Yankton at a later date.

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