MENOMINEE - A legendary high school coaching career ended Monday when Ken Hofer of Menominee announced his retirement.
Hofer compiled a 342-136-3 record over 41 seasons, taking the Maroons to state championships in 1998, 2006 and 2007. The Stephenson native coached his alma mater before joining Menominee in 1966. His son, Chris, is head coach at Kingsford High School.
Hofer also served as athletic director, principal and assistant principal over the years at Menominee.
"His impact has been felt for generations, and his legacy will continue to inspire students into the future," Menominee superintendent Erik Bergh said in an email announcing Hofer's retirement.
Dan Flynn, who retired earlier this year after 26 years as head football coach at Escanaba High School, told The Daily?Press that Hofer's departure was somewhat surprising.
"The face of Menominee football is Ken Hofer," said Flynn, noting stability of the coaching staff that includes veterans Ron "Satch"?Englund and Joe Noha has been a major factor in the program's success.
"Those coaches and kids are going to miss him a lot, and so will many members of the community."
Escanaba and Menominee are two of the longest-running football programs in the state and have been playing since 1897, with the Maroons holding a 60-50-3 edge in the vaunted rivalry.
"That football rivalry was important for both communities," said Flynn. "You knew the game was going to be real competitive. Both teams looked forward to this game. You knew you were going to get Ken Hofer and Menominee's best shot. It was enjoyable."