Longtime basketball head coach Bob Hilmer retires

Published: May. 15, 2020 at 1:38 PM CDT
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Bob Hilmer's coaching career is something hardly anyone can duplicate.

After 57 years on the sidelines, Hilmer announced his retirement. He was the head coach at Fredericksburg, Forest City, WACO and most recently North Linn.

"With all of his accomplishments and as long as he's done it, you just never expected it to come to an end," said Mike Hilmer. "It's kind of a sad thing to see it come to an end."

Hilmer finished with a career record of 917-347 and is the all-time winningest coach in the state of Iowa. He spent the past five years as the co-head coach at North Linn, along with his son, Mike.

"The one thing he taught me, too, is that good things happen to good people," Mike said. "He's probably been the model of integrity in Iowa for 57 years."

Hilmer received several accolades in his successful career. The basketball court at WACO was named in his honor as Bob Hilmer Court. He also won two state titles, one at Forest City in 1976 and then in 2019 at North Linn. The state title at North Linn will always be special because it wasn't just the school's first state title, Hilmer shared the moment with his son, Mike, but also his two grandsons, Jake and Austin, who were players on the team.

"It's very rare and it's something maybe I don't even realize how cool it is yet," said Jake.

"Winning a state championship is special in itself, but winning that with your grandkids playing and your son coaching, that's really special," said Bob. "There's nothing to compare to it."

He may be retired, but Hilmer says he'll still watch the games from the stands. It'll be an adjustment at first, but he's looking forward to it.

"It'll be different watching, but on the other hand, I still will know what's going on," he said. "I would have more trouble watching if I didn't know what was going on."

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