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Esko hires new head football coach

Scott Arntson was tabbed Tuesday to replace Bill Hudspith as Esko football coach.

Arntson was the head coach at Duluth Marshall for six seasons, through 2006, before joining Hudspith’s staff as an assistant in 2007. It had been rumored for about three weeks that he’d be the successor, and it came to fruition during a vote at Tuesday night’s Esko school board meeting.

Hudspith presented his resignation to the Esko School Board in February.

Arntson takes over for an icon in Hudspith, who was 185-87 in 26 seasons on the Eskomos’ sideline, according to the Minnesota Football Coaches Association. Eight of those seasons ended at the state tournament, meaning nearly one-third of his years at the helm ended with a section title. Along the way, he developed a reputation as a no-nonsense coach with a knack for devising creative offensive schemes that led to prolific production.

Hudspith, who teaches special education in Cloquet, said before that he expects to be involved in football in some capacity, whether he’s helping coach the younger kids or working as an assistant.

Previously, he was an assistant for 12 years at his alma mater — Hudspith was a quarterback on Esko’s 1974 team that went 10-0.

He told the News Tribune in February that he “thought it might be good to step down and give (his assistants) an opportunity.”

Arntson inherits a team that went 7-3 and reached last fall’s Section 7AAA final.