Bethany’s second year head men’s basketball coach Matt Fletcher had the opportunity to meet a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association and Bethany Lutheran College Hall of Famer after the Vikings 84-69 road win at the University of Wisconsin-Stout on November 29.
Anyone who was a part of Bethany athletics in the 1950s and early 60s remembers the name Dwain “Dewey” Mintz. Mintz began his legendary coaching career at Bethany High School in 1951, and took over the Bethany Lutheran College men’s basketball coaching position in 1952. During his ten years at the helm for the Vikings, Mintz’s teams won five conference championships and three regional titles while winning 169 games with only 81 losses. It can be said that some of the most successful basketball teams ever at BLC were part of Mintz’s tenure. The pinnacle occurred in 1959 when the Vikings took second place in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) basketball championship. Following the successful NJCAA tournament, he was named NJCAA National Runner-Up Coach of the Year. Mintz’s BLC teams qualified for nationals on two other occasions, earning an eighth-place finish in 1962.
Mintz, who will turn 90 years old in March 2018, was at the recent Bethany game against UW-Stout because after his years at BLC he went on to coach the Blue Devils men’s basketball team and still lives in the Menomonie area where Stout is located. During his twenty-four year career at Stout, his teams won three Wisconsin State University Conference titles while he amassed a career coaching record of 554 wins against 361 losses.
For his coaching accomplishments at Stout, Mintz was named District Coach of the Year in 1966, the NAIA Area IV Basketball Coach of the Year in 1969, and the NAIA District Coach of the Year in 1973. In 1988, he received both the 500 Wins Award and 15 Years of Coaching and Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The Stout Blue Devils home venue is named “Dewey Mintz Court.”