Rod Magnusson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised in Lauderdale Minnesota. His High school sports career took place at Murray High School where he graduated in 1953. While at Murray he won 10 varsity letters in football, hockey and baseball. He was all-conference twice in hockey and baseball, and once in football. He was able to participate with the Murray team in the State Hockey Tournament. Following his graduation from Murray he attended the University of Minnesota where he played hockey his freshman and sophomore seasons. He was also a four year member of the baseball team at Minnesota and was a member of the 1956 NCAA Championship baseball team. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1957.
His coaching career began in 1959 when he was a volunteer coach at Washington H.S. in St. Paul. In 1962 he became the B Squad coach at Washington and served in that spot until 1965. In 1966 he became the varsity hockey coach at Washington and stayed there until 1974 before he became he Head Coach at Johnson H.S. He stayed at Johnson until 1986, before he joined the coaching staff at St. Paul Como Park High School.
Coach Magnuson has a number of honors in his athletic and coaching career including: Selected to the best 100 athletes in the Centennial Celebration of St. Paul Athletic Conference in 1998. He has been the Minnesota Golf Association Senior Player of the Year 3 times, qualified for the USGA Sr. Open 4 times, qualified for the USGA Pub links Championship 2 times. Qualified for the mid-amateur 2 times and qualified for the USGA Sr. Championship 2 times. He also participated as a player and as a coach in the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament.
Rod’s memories include “Playing for 2 legends in Dick Siebert and John Mariucci. I was thankful to Mariucci because if John had been using Canadians I never would have had the opportunity to play College Hockey. That experience fostered my desire to coach hockey and led to 43 terrific seasons.” He went on to say, “all hockey seasons are good - some are just better than others.” “Playing hockey also gave me the opportunity to play with the three best Minnesota hockey players ever, John Mayasich, Kenny Yackel and Jack McCartan.”
On receiving this honor Coach Magnusson stated, “I was amazed to b selected to the Hall of Fame. Now I am even more flabbergasted with this award. There are so many high school coaches in Minnesota deserving of this award.... this is a humbling experience.” Coach Magnuson’s family includes his wife of 47+ years Jean, as well as his children Dan, Laurie, Kristin and Beth. He also has 11 grandchildren (9 of whom are either playing college or high school athletics). “I would not have been able to be involved in hockey for this long without the complete support and understanding of my wife. She has made it easy for me to be a kid during the summer and winter months…..She is terrific.”