When Tink Larson came to Waseca in 1967 the Bluejays had had five head baseball coaches in the previous five years. Thirty-eight years later, Tink is still coaching the Bluejays. His 38 years of coaching at Waseca High School is the longest coaching tenure in the history of Waseca High School.
Larson graduated from Kasson-Mantorville High School, where at various times he participated in football, basketball, baseball, track, wrestling and Golden Gloves boxing. He then graduated from Mankato State University in 1966, where he lettered four years in baseball and played basketball for one year.
Over the years, Larson was head baseball coach for 34 years, assistant baseball coach for four years, B squad and assistant boys basketball coach for nearly 30 years and has coached junior high boys basketball, junior high football and assistant varsity football.
Larson’s teams were noted for their discipline and solid fundamental play as they won 400 games during his tenure as head baseball coach. Tink has also coached the American Legion, VFW and Amateur teams in Waseca as well as doing the same in his hometown of Kasson for six years and in 44 years he has coached nearly 4000 baseball games, winning over 2300, possibly the most of any coach in the country.
The highlight of Tink’s coaching career was winning the state championship in 1990. The Bluejays were also second in the state tournament in 1981 and 1988 and third in 1987. This was at a time in which the Bluejays were especially successful as they played in the region championship game nine times in 17 years. This was all during a period of time when the Bluejays did not have a losing season for 20 consecutive seasons.
Tink was also a part of a very successful boys basketball program as the B squad coach for fellow Hall of Fame inductee, Manny Beckmann. Tink served under Beckmann for 25 years and was a part of four state tournaments in basketball.
Tink was named Minnesota Coach of the Year twice in baseball and Assistant Coach of the Year once in basketball. He was also one of eight finalists for National Baseball Coach of the Year four times during his career.
Many former Bluejays coached by Larson have gone on to play college and/or professional baseball. Over 60 of his former players played college baseball and another half dozen played professional baseball. He coached two all-Americans, 12 all-state players and has had 16 players play in the High School All-Star game.
Larson is also in the Minnesota State High School League Hall of fame, the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, the Mankato State University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Kasson-Mantorville High School Hall of Fame.
Tink and his wife, Sharon, have three children, Mike, Paul and Jodi and six grandchildren.