Friday after nearly 60 years coaching high school sports, hall of fame coach, Bob Hilmer announced his retirement. The announcement was made by his son and co-head coach, Mike, via social media, “Congratulations to the winningest coach in Iowa on his retirement from boys basketball,” Mike wrote in the post. He continued by saying, “although I am sad to see my dad retire, I am blessed to have had the opportunity to spend the last five years coaching with the best coach I have ever known. So proud of you and love! #917”
Bob spent 34 seasons and won 534 games at Forest City. He is Forest City’s (534) and Iowa’s (917) all-time wins leader in 57 years coaching. This year he became the first Iowa coach to reach 900 career wins and also coached against Forest City for the first time in the substate final. He won two state titles, 1976 at Forest City and 2019 at North Linn. The Lynx returned to the state tournament this season but were unable to repeat.
Hilmer’s successor at Forest City, Dan Rosacker who was an assistant under Hilmer, had this to say following the news, “Congrats Bob. Proud to have worked with you. You made such an impact on my career and so many other coaches and players. Enjoy your retirement!” Rosacker is still on the bench for the Indians who haven’t skipped a beat since Hilmer’s departure.
Hilmer also made coaching stops at Fredericksburg and WACO during his storied career. While at Forest City from 1967-2001, Bob went 534-187, made seven state tournament appearances, one state title, 13 North Iowa Conference Championships, and coached seven all-state players. In 2008 he was inducted into the Iowa High School Basketball Hall of Fame, one of three Forest City players/coaches to reach that achievement.
Bob has spent the last five seasons coaching with his son Mike, a Forest City graduate, at North Linn. In those five seasons, the coaching duo has made four state tournament appearances, won a state championship (2019), a 52-game win streak (came to an end in this year’s state championship loss), and the pair never lost a Tri-Rivers Conference game. December 2014 was the last time the Lynx lost a conference game.
Hilmer also is one of the few coaches to get the unique experience of coaching both his kids and grandkids.