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Lou Nanne to call his 60th and last Minnesota state hockey tournament

Nanne called his first state tournament in 1964.

Minnesota hockey legend Lou Nanne told KSTP-TV on Tuesday that the 2024 boys state hockey tournament will be his last. Nanne has called the games for the past 60 years.

“It is a tough decision,” Nanne told KSTP sports director Joe Schmit in a Zoom interview. “Really tough decision. I thought about it a great deal, but at my age and having done it for this long, I just thought that maybe it’s time to give it up. I’m gonna miss it, I love doing it, it’s something that I cherish, something that I look forward to every year, but as you get old like I am, you start thinking about it might be time to pass the torch.”

Schmit asked Nanne if he wanted to pass the torch before he passed his prime. 

"No I want to pass it while I can see someone else do it," Nanne said with a chuckle. "When you're 82 years old you don't know how much longer you have left." 

Nanne, 82, was a star under then-Gophers coach John Mariucci at Minnesota from 1960-63, being the only defenseman ever to win the WCHA scoring title during the 1962-63 season. He also spent his entire nine-year NHL career with the Minnesota North Stars and became the general manager and coach of the team upon his retirement.

Nanne spearheaded the campaign to name Herb Brooks, then the Gophers men’s hockey coach, the head coach of the U.S. Olympic team ahead of the 1980 Winter Games, where the U.S. team made of mostly collegiate players beat the professional Soviet team in the gold-medal game, which became known as the “Miracle on Ice.”

Nanne, who has also spent time as an analyst for NHL games, called his first Minnesota state hockey tournament in 1964.