Dwain "Whitey" Aamot
Whitey Aamot graduated from Granite Falls High School in 1932 where he played football, basketball and baseball. He went to Macalester College for two years where he also played football, basketball and baseball. He went to the University of Minnesota for his junior and senior years, majoring in physical education and graduating in 1941.
Whitey coached two years at Winnebago High School before entering the Navy. He coached three years in the Navy with a great measure of success. After serving in the Navy, he came back, received his masters degree, and accepted the phy ed teaching and coaching post in Waseca. (The above information was obtained from an interview with Whitey and Halsey Hall at the start of the 1948-1949 basketball season)
Whitey Aamot started his sensational basketball coaching career at Waseca High School in 1946. All wanting to make the squad, 48 players showed up for the opening day of practice. By the season opener, Whitey cut the team to 24. Returning to the squad were six previous letter winners, most notably All State Football 1st team end, 6’3” Andy (Hambone) Papke and 6’5” junior Shyde Krause. Papke, along with two other players, were back on the team after serving in the war. The 1946-47 team was one of the tallest in the state. Waseca had only one regular season loss; that coming when Papke did not play because of a sprained ankle. The most featured game of the year by sportswriters in the state, was between # 2 once defeated Waseca and # 1 undefeated Duluth Denfeld. Twin Cities sports writers were here to cover the game, Mankato Teachers College offered the use of their gym, and one headline read – “Doors open at Waseca gym, Saturday night at 7. Bring your meals, the line may start forming any day now." Andy Papke held Duluth’s top scorer in the state to zero field goals and scored 19 himself and Waseca went on to beat Duluth by eight points. The following week, Whitey Aamot’s Bluejays were ranked # 1. The Jays went on to win the District Title, the first in Waseca history. They were defeated by one point in the finals of the Region by Austin’s defending state champions on a protested controversial call. Whitey’s first year of coaching in Waseca was a year to remember and the start of many more to come. Whitey’s second year with the jays was just as memorable as his first. Losing only three regular season games, the Jays held a #2 state ranking. They went on to win the conference title, the 2nd district title in school history, and earned a trip to the state tourney by winning the 1st region title in school history. This was Waseca’s first trip to the state tourney since 1919 and the first since the district and regional setup was installed for the elimination program. Whitey’s Jays lost a 2-point heartbreaker in their opening round at state but came back with two wins to bring home the Consolation Championship. Whitey always refused to compare the two teams chiefly because they were almost opposites. The 1946 team was tall and high scoring and the 1947 team was smaller, faster and featured the improved playing of Shyde Krause on defense. The Bluejay record after two years under Coach Aamot was 45-6.
The end of the 1956-57 basketball season at Central high school brought with it the end of the coaching career of Dwain “Whitey” Aamot. He elevated the Bluejays from an almost unknown team to one of the top teams in the state. Whitey compiled an impressive record in his 11 years of coaching, with a 159-92 win-loss record, five conference titles, two 2nd place spots and one third place finish for a total of eight years in the top bracket. His teams won two district titles, one region title, one region runner up and a state consolation title. He was also head baseball coach one year, assistant varsity and B squad football coach eight years and head golf coach for eight years. Whitey stayed on as Athletic Director for 23 years.
Whitey was also well known for his square dancing and high school rhythm festivals. He attended caller’s school and began calling in 1947. When he retired from coaching and teaching, Whitey began calling full time. His wife Barbara was also involved in the dance bookings, advertising and all the details of the many square dance weekends he conducted in 47 years of calling.
Whitey and Barbara have passed away and are survived by their four children, Christine, John, James and Sara.