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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hall of Fame Windom coach, girls sports pioneer Bunge passes away

One of the pioneers of girls sports in the state of Minnesota and an inaugural member of the Windom Area High School Athletic Hall of Fame passed away earlier this week.

Hildegard Bunge was a longtime physical education teacher at Windom and was the driving force behind the start of athletic programs for girls at the school, starting nearly every girls sports program at the school prior to the passage of Title IX.

With the establishment of Title IX, Bunge served as the first head coach for Windom’s volleyball and gymnastics programs, with her volleyball team being Windom’s first girls sports program to qualify for the state tournament.

While Hildegard was teaching and coaching in Windom, her twin sister, Marion, was doing the same in Mt. Lake. In retirement, the twins were inseparable, frequently attending girls volleyball and basketball games at Windom and Martin County West.

Bunge was in the inaugural class of the Windom Area High School Athletic Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the District 7, Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association and Minnesota State High School League halls of fame.

Hildegard passed away Tuesday at Goldfinch Memory Care Home in Welcome at the age of 97, nearly two years to the day from the passing of her twin sister.

More on the passing of a local coaching icon will appear in the July 26 print and e-editions of the Citizen.

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