Legendary Somerset football coach Bruce Larson dies at 58

Bruce Larson lifted Somerset football to the peak of the mountain and kept it there for years. The coach led the Spartans to three high school state championship games and three other title game appearances in 22 years leading the program. He died Sunday at age 58.

Larson was named the Don Shula NFL National Coach of the Year in 2015 after leading Somerset to its third state title under his guidance in 2014, after which he was named Wisconsin Coach of the Year. Monday marked the seven-year anniversary of “Bruce Larson Day” in Somerset. He was also a physical education teacher at Somerset, where he worked since 1987.

“We are beyond saddened at the unexpected passing of Bruce Larson. To say that Bruce made an impact in Somerset is an understatement,” the Somerset football program’s Facebook page read. “As someone once said, ‘Bruce is Somerset.’ The affect he had on generations of kids and adults is immeasurable. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Larson family during this difficult time.”

Larson passed his love of the game on to his sons, Reggie and Rocky, both of whom are head football coaches — Rocky at Mayville State in North Dakota and Reggie at New Richmond High School.

“Unbelievable coach but the best DAD! He was my best friend. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed,” Reggie tweeted.

Larson grew up in Spring Valley, Wis., before going on to play football at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

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