Owatonna Hockey Plans 50th Reunion Weekend
Owatonna hockey will celebrate a 50th reunion weekend September 21-22 with a golf tournament and social events. Committee members hope to announce the naming of the rinks at the Four Seasons Centre after Dudley Otto and Ken Austin at that time as well. They are working with the Steele County Commission on that.
OHS grad and Athletic Hall of Fame member Mark Kristo says the rinks should be named to honor these hockey pioneers for, "the impact these two had on not only Owatonna hockey but also in Minnesota-The State of Hockey."
Austin is widely considered to be the Godfather of Owatonna hockey as he helped begin youth hockey in the community and was a longtime midget-level coach. He helped recruit Otto to come to Owatonna. Austin also served as President of the Minnesota Amateur Hockey Association. He spent time as a professional scout for the California Golden Seals, which later merged with the Minnesota North Stars. Austin entered the Owatonna High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007 for his community contributions.
Otto is often called the Father of Owatonna hockey, serving as Indians' coach from 1968 through 1988 and compiling a 232-177-9 record. He was President of the Minnesota State Hockey Coaches Association and was inducted into the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Otto was inducted into the OHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
The schedule for reunion weekend includes a social gathering Friday, September 21 at the Elks Club at 6 pm. The Dudley Otto Golf Classic begins at 10 am at Brooktree Golf Course Saturday, September 22 with a social get together that evening at the Fairgrounds Foundation Building.