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Published June 04 2010

Bart Inniger proud of what his father built

Bart Inniger admits his family was disappointed the day his father, Erv Inniger, gave up the head men’s basketball position at North Dakota State in favor of an administrative job.

Nineteen years later, it was the best for all involved, he said Thursday. Erv Inniger announced he will retire as the associate athletic director at NDSU effective next January after 33 years.

“It’s been pretty amazing,” Bart said. “He’s done more at NDSU that just about anybody whether it be a president or an athletic director or coach.”

Like his dad, Bart is on a similar path of one-school loyalty. He’s been the head girls basketball coach at the Twin Cities suburb of Minnetonka for 13 years and has been an elementary physical education instructor for 18 years.

The Skippers finished 18-10 last season and were on pace to threaten for a state tournament berth. But junior Katy Winge, the team’s best player and potential Division I recruit who has talked with NDSU coaches, tore her ACL with four games remaining.

“The intensity is still there, I still love what I’m doing,” he said. “I’m in a great situation. I attribute a lot of it to what I grew up with, watching dad coach. It’s what I knew.”

As a fundraiser, the Division I decision, Bart said, fit his dad perfectly.

“He got in the right position for him, re-energized him and what he’s done for the past 19 years speaks for itself,” Bart said. “He’s extremely motivated, extremely positive and all those attributes made it an easy transition for a fundraising position. He took off and went with it.”