Durado to join Alaska Hall of Fame

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The Daily Inter Lake

Former Flathead High School standout Bob Durado is one of five coaching legends headlining this years class of Hall of Fame inductees administered by the Alaska School Activities Association.

Also being inducted are four athletes, an administrator and a sponsor.

The ceremony will be held May 7th in Anchorage.

The press release from the ASAA said the honored coaches are recognized for their positive mentoring and encouragement, which made a lifelong difference in the lives of thousands of Alaskan student-athletes.

When Durado, now 78, retired in 1987, his East High School football teams in Anchorage won more games (84-42-3) than any coach in Cook Inlet Conference history, and his girls basketball teams had won more games (160-42) than any other program in his 10-year stint on the bench.

His football teams won three state championships in his first three years on the sidelines and two more during his illustrious 17-year career.

Durado also coached track at East High.

In 1986 he was named one of the top 50 high school football coaches by USA Today.

He was selected Regional Coach of the Year in 1986 by the National High School Coaches Association.

Durado was also an assistant coach at Yakima Junior College and coached football in Trapani, Sicily, for a year.

At Flathead, Durado, a tight end/defensive end, was an all-state football player under legendary coach Jim Sweeney.

Durado started the final two games of his sophomore year along with his junior and senior seasons.

He (Sweeney) told me more than once that the best team he had was when we were seniors, Durado said of the 1958 squad.

Flathead won a state title the following year (1959) under Sweeney, who coached the Braves for three seasons before joining Montana State as an assistant coach and later became the Bobcats head coach (1963-67).

Sweeney later spent 19 seasons as the head football coach at Fresno State. He retired with a school-record 144 victories.

Sweeney was 83 when he died in 2013.

Durado, a forward, was a two-year starter for the Braves basketball team.

He participated in the Montana East-West Shrine Football Game in 1958 and coached in that event in 1962.

He attended Montana State University on a football scholarship and was a graduate assistant coach for the Bobcats before his move to Alaska.

Durado lives in Kalispell five months of the year and also resides in Palm Desert, California.

I really did have great success up there, Durado said.

Its a great honor. Im very excited about it.

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