May 21, 2024

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Grand Forks’ Dallas Kopp remembered as a legendary character by friends and colleagues – Grand Forks Herald

5 min read
Grand Forks’ Dallas Kopp remembered as a legendary character by friends and colleagues – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — Dallas Kopp experienced a tale and a smile for everyone.

And anyone has a tale about Kopp that helps make them smile.

“He is a famous character,” close friend and former colleague Terry Dunphy mentioned.

Kopp, a longtime Grand Forks mentor, formal and UND football gear supervisor, died Thursday in Grand Forks. He was 86.

“You didn’t go anyplace wherever he failed to know 3-fourths of the folks, but you in no way understood if he failed to know someone mainly because he talked to strangers like he understood them,” mentioned Tim Delmore, a veteran Grand Forks Pink River mentor. “I consider he got along with everybody. That was Dallas’ most significant asset. It did not make a difference who you are or what your track record was. He wasn’t amazed by large standing or place off by very low status. He was reasonable to all people.”

Kopp, a North Dakota Superior School Coaches Association Hall of Fame member, was Grand Forks Red River’s first head soccer coach when the method started in 1967. He coached in that position until eventually 1979.

In 1980, Kopp led the girls golfing staff at Red River for the upcoming 20 decades, profitable eight Jap Dakota Convention championships, 6 East Area runner-up titles and state championships in 1988 and 1990. He was the sport’s coach of the calendar year a few instances in that span.

From 1983-1990, Kopp served as Purple River ladies keep track of and area mentor.

Kopp graduated from Lisbon Significant College in 1954.

He invested one calendar year as a scholarship soccer participant at North Dakota Condition before shifting with his wife Beth to the West Coast, exactly where he invested a calendar year as a truck driver.

Immediately after just one a lot more stint at NDSU and a job at 3M in Minneapolis, Kopp was recruited by Mayville State, wherever he performed soccer, basketball, baseball and observe. He graduated in 1960 with a double main in small business and actual physical training.

Kopp, who the Comets inducted into the athletics corridor of fame in 1995, was an all-conference baseball player in 1959. His 1958 Mayville Condition baseball crew was the initially higher education baseball group in North Dakota to make the NAIA Championships.

Soon after graduating from Mayville Condition, Kopp went to Larimore, where he was head soccer and baseball coach and assistant basketball mentor. In 1962, he was hired at Grand Forks Central, where by he invested 5 years as an assistant to mentor Ken Rio.

Ron Bergh was a senior at Central in 1963 prior to heading on to star in equally UND football and baseball in school.

“He was a playful kind,” Bergh stated. “He was not as severe as the other coaches. He was youthful. The other gamers definitely related to that and bought together with him very well. He was simple-likely.”

Kopp and Bergh crossed paths for years immediately after that. When Kopp was coaching Red River soccer, Bergh was head coach at Central.

“When we’d have a dwelling video game and they’d have an away activity, there were being lots of Friday nights he was ready for me in the Valley parking lot to chat soccer,” Bergh stated. “No matter whether he was joyful how his staff played or mad, we experienced a ton of fantastic dialogue.”

Kopp taught actual physical training at Pink River, as very well as driver’s training for much more than 40 many years.

A veteran driver’s education instructor, Kopp was ironically a wildcard as a bus driver.

“We employed to go bowling in gymnasium class, and we would have 80 children on the bus and the trip to the alley was usually eventful,” Delmore claimed.

Steve Westereng, a UND soccer athletic coach for the duration of Kopp’s time with the application, recalled the anxiety of Kopp having driving the wheel.

One time, the team could not find a player’s tools following a road match and Kopp went seeking.

“He retraces his actions from the airport to UND,” Westereng mentioned. “He had been going so speedy on Highway 2, the tools fell out and went in the ditch and was nonetheless there two days afterwards.”

UND head soccer mentor Bubba Schweigert remembers how his initial discussion with Kopp led to Kopp’s up coming line of operate just after retiring from large college educating and coaching in 2000.

“He would often journey his bike by Memorial Stadium and arrive by practice,” Schweigert claimed. “He was driving by one particular summer months day and goes ‘I just need to have something to do. This retirement is not good for me. I heard your products manager still left.'”

So Schweigert, the defensive coordinator at the time, sent Kopp to chat with then-head coach Dale Lennon, who gave Kopp the occupation.

“He was hilarious,” Schweigert explained. “The men beloved currently being in there with him. He had a very good feeling of humor.”

Westereng remembers some bumps along the way as Kopp figured out the ropes.

“There was nobody about to mentor him,” Westereng claimed. “Our initially road trip, he introduced 90 winter season jackets to Greeley, Colo., with a sport-time temperature of 86 levels.”

Kopp dealt with failing overall health for decades, despite the fact that close friends say he never allow it display.

Kopp took a tumble at the time at Memorial Stadium all through soccer observe when he was equipment manager.

“A QB throws an out in Dallas’ space, and the cornerback comes up tackling and strike Dallas and he goes down like a ton of bricks,” Westereng stated. “I run throughout the discipline, contemplating they killed him. We get him to the ER, and I do not know how many dozen stitches he experienced but he didn’t pass up a working day. Amusing, far too, due to the fact a handful of days afterwards, he went to the lake and set his boat in and fell off the dock and split his other leg extensive open up. Nevertheless failed to skip a day of do the job.”

The tales of Kopp’s toughness are abundant.

“I know he was not a cat due to the fact he experienced additional than nine life,” explained Dunphy, who coached Red River football with Kopp for 9 seasons and the two had been mates for about 50 many years. “He was the toughest S.O.B.”

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