After more than 20 years with the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s circulation department, Larry Horstman embarked on a storied second career.
In that second act, Horstman became a youth hockey coach and hockey program coordinator for Shattuck St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn. In the ensuing 20 years at the boarding school, he helped establish its hockey program as the top youth program in the nation.
Horstman, who retired from Shattuck St. Mary’s in 2016, died March 7 at his home in Faribault. He was 67.
Former NHL coach Andy Murray, who coached the Shattuck-St. Mary’s boys prep team to a national title in 1999 and is now coach at Western Michigan, said: “With three children who were student athletes in the hockey program at Shattuck, our family had the opportunity to experience the kindness and enthusiasm that was part of Larry’s daily life as he helped so many people enjoy the Shattuck experience. He touched many people.”
Horstman, who was born in 1950 in Braham, Minn., graduated from Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis and went to work for the Star Tribune. In 1976, his job as a district circulation manager for the newspaper took him to Windom, Minn. After three years in Windom, he transferred to Faribault.
When his two sons took an interest in hockey, Horstman became involved with the Faribault Hockey Association. After its enrollment declined in the 1980s, Shattuck St. Mary’s embarked on a plan in the early 1990s to make its hockey program one of the best in the country. In 1996, Horstman left the newspaper and joined the Shattuck St. Mary’s staff.
“He was one of the people, along with Craig Norwich, that convinced the school to drop out of the MSHSL and play under the USA Hockey rule book,” said Buffalo Sabres assistant coach Tom Ward, who coached at Shattuck St. Mary’s for 18 years. “He loved the school and the kids. “
“He was the man behind the scenes that kept everything running smoothly, was always there to help a player or his family. Our school is a boarding school, which makes us different — we had to deal with kids being away from home, and parents being away from their children. Larry did a great job helping out with both parties. ... He was a good man. He will be missed.”
From 1999 to 2017, five Shattuck St. Mary’s teams combined to win 25 national championships. In 2010, ESPN called Shattuck St. Mary’s the “Hogwarts of Hockey,” and Sports Illustrated magazine wrote “the school is to hockey what Harvard is to law.”
“His daughter [Amy] said it best,” said Michael Carpentier, Shattuck St. Mary’s associate director of enrollment management. “His love wasn’t hockey. His love was the people. He made every day better, and he wanted you to be at your best and enjoy the day. When you think of all the successful coaches — Craig Norwich, Andy Murray, J.P. Parise, Tom Ward and others — Larry was the one constant. He was the one everyone went to. He was up to the task. He was at the heart of the action and could roll with the punches.
“We’ve produced many NHL players, but we’ve always said, ‘Hockey is something we do, not who we are.’ Larry loved people.”
Horstman met his wife, then Carol Swenson, at a youth group at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis in 1966, and they were married five years later. Their three children — daughter Amy and sons Jeff and Jason—attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
Carol died on Dec. 22. Horstman is survived by his children; his mother, Mavis Horstman; a sister, Diane Graham, and six grandchildren. Services have been held.