Wednesday, November 30th, 2022 Church Directory
DWIGHT LUNDEEN is one of five finalists for the national Power of Influence Award presented to top high school coaches at their convention in North Carolina in January. (Submitted Photo).
DWIGHT LUNDEEN is always teaching, always inspiring others on and off the field. (Patriot Photo by Bill Morgan).
DWIGHT LUNDEEN has brought three state titles to Becker amongst his nearly 400 career wins. (Patriot Photo by Bill Morgan).
DWIGHT LUNDEEN is the second-highest active winning coach in the state of Minnesota. (Patriot Photo by Bill Morgan).

Lundeen nominated for national award

Dwight Lundeen has been nominated as a Region 3 National Finalist for the Power of Influence Award presented by the American Football Coaches Association (MFCA).

Lundeen is one of five finalists who will be attending the 2023 Convention held in Charlotte, NC Jan. 8-10. At the convention, the winner of the award will be announced on the second day, January 9th.

The Power of Influence Award is the number one national award given to a high school head coach. Two other Minnesota head coaches have been nominated in the past including Minnetonka High School Head Coach Dave Nelson  in 2019 and Brainerd’s Ron Stolski in 2005.

Lundeen has been Becker’s head football coach for 52 years after starting the program in 1970. He has an M.S. degree in high school athletics administration and a B.S. degree in physical education/health. He graduated from Cokato High School in 1965.

Lundeen has coached the Bulldogs to 24 conference championships, 19 section championships and three state titles in his 382+ wins. He was named Minnesota football coach of the year in Class AAA twice (2005 and 2006) and Class AAAA twice (2014 and 2015). He won the Minnesota Power of Influence Award in 2010.

“I am very honored to be nominated for the National Power of Influence Award, representing the State of Minnesota,” Lundeen said upon his selection. “I truly believe that coaching is one of the most influential positions in today’s society. Right or wrong, athletics provides a platform for influencing a school and a community.”

Lundeen is currently the second-winningest active coach in the history of Minnesota High School football.

“While the game of football is in itself enjoyable, it is because of the young men who play the game that I continue to coach,” he said. “As a coach, I strive to make a difference by guiding young men to be better students and role models as well as better husbands, fathers, and community members once they leave our program.”

Bubba Sullivan, chairman of the MFCA Power of Influence committee said the following:

“Dwight is the epitome of power of influence,” he said. “He has been a pillar of the Becker community. His positive influence goes well beyond his players and coaches. His modeling of respect for others and love of the young men he coaches has permeated his program, school and community.”

Becker High School Principal Dave Kreft was one of several local prodigies endorsing Lundeen.

“Dwight Lundeen is a fixture of our school. A fixture of positivity. A fixture of consistency. A fixture of connectiveness. A fixture of influence on the community. Unequivocally, Dwight Lundeen is a deserving recipient for the Power of Influence Award.”

Former player and current coach, Shane Potter spoke of how Dwight has changed his life for the better.

“I now have three sons of my own and am trying to raise them with the same love, passion and values that Coach Lundeen has shown to me over the years,” he said. “I personally could never thank him enough for the impact he has had on my life.”

Lisa Sackett, an English Teacher with the high school has known Dwight for over 20 years.

“With his ability to reach young hearts, Dwight has been instrumental in building a faith community of young adults in his work with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA),” she said. “Here, young adults at a crucial (and often difficult point) in their lives have been able to follow the lead of a man who has consistently modeled strong faith, strong family bonds, and unconditional love for others.”

Derek Bjornstad, a Becker fifth grade teacher and assistant football coach talks about Lundeen’s focus on molding the student athletes into quality individuals.

“I  will never forget the first coaches’ meeting that I attended in Lundeen’s basement,” he said. “He mentioned that our end goal is not to raise a trophy at the end of the year, but rather to mold great men, great husbands and great fathers. Little did he know, he was molding me, a 24-year-old at the time, into the same.”

Donn Larson, who has been with Lundeen on the sidelines for over 30 years, says he has had a unique privilege being on-hand for Dwight’s pre-game, halftime and postgame talks all those years.

“Coach Lundeen is very competitive,” he says. “He has fostered a culture of ‘expect to win.’ Throughout the Becker football program, his personal values of good sportsmanship, respect for the officials and the opposing team comes first and foremost. His priority of teaching strong work ethics on-and-off the field has served many young men well in their time on the football field. But more importantly in life and with life’s challenges.”

Defensive Coach Hokan Bengtson — whose own coaching style reflects that of Lundeens —knows of Dwight’s impact he has had on generations of kids who have donned the pads of Becker football.

“In the community Dwight is widely recognized as ‘Coach Lundeen’,” Bengtson says. “Almost every boy in town knows who he is and has had a chance to connect with him. Those connections are made at camps, sporting events, school pep fests, or at the local grocery store. Dwight has the power to speak life into many young people in our community and he doesn’t miss an opportunity to take advantage of that.”

Former Becker Mayor Norm Jensen also touted Dwight’s influence.

“I cannot think of a more deserving person for the Power of Influence Award,” he said. “Dwight’s reputation in our city and across the entire state of Minnesota is truly exceptional. His skills in helping others reach their potential are impeccable. I highly recommend Mr. Dwight Lundeen for this honor.”

Randy Jensen, Minnesota FCA Director said:

“John Maxwell defines a leader as one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. It is evident by his consistent and value-driven life that Dwight is a man of integrity and character, and he walks the talk of faith. FCA is grateful for Dwight’s years of service and leadership in this ministry, showing the way to countless numbers of young people, student-athletes and coaches, not only in Becker but throughout the state,”