When Benilde-St. Margaret's took on Hill-Murray Saturday night for the state Class AA title, the Red Knights head coach could be the answer to a trivia question. Who is the only player to win a championship as a player and later a coach?
If you said Dave Herbst, you're right. Give yourselves a round of a applause.
As a player, Herbst was a member of the 1973 Hibbing Bluejackets state championship team. Back then, the state boys hockey tournament was a one class affair and played at the Met Center in Bloomington.
In research done between the Class A & AA championship games, Herbst did pick up an assist in the finals against Ramsey from Roseville. There were two high schools at that time in the St. Paul suburb in those days. Ramsey and Kellogg. Herbst's assist came on Joe Micheletti's third goal. It was the second tournament game that he recorded a hat trick, the first was in the quarterfinals against Bemidji.
Herbst, interviewed prior to the start of the Class AA championship game recalled his former coach George Perpich. "A gentle giant. A nice guy. Taught me a lot. He also mentioned that when he met the coach for the first time as a youngster he said "Someday you're going to be playing for me"
Herbst also stated how influential Perpich was on him as a player. "Every time you step on the ice, go hard. Never take a shift off."
The Red Knight coach also mentioned about playing in front of a Met Center crowd of more than 18,000 fans at Met Center. I betcha everybody from Hibbing is at the game today," Herbst said.
In all likelihood, there won't be 18,000 fans in attendance watching herbst, in his eight season behind the BSM bench lead them to s state championship Saturday night. There could be history in the making.
Note: Research for this article was taken from several editions of the Minneapolis Tribune from March 1973. .