Former Des Moines Public Schools basketball coach, Drake assistant Mel Green Sr. dies

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Lonie and Mel Green Sr. attend the 31st annual North High School All Class Reunion on May 3, 2007.
Lonie and Mel Green Sr. attend the 31st annual North High School All Class Reunion on May 3, 2007.

Mel Green Sr., a longtime coach and teacher in the Des Moines community, died Tuesday at age 80. Des Moines North High School announced his death on Tuesday evening.

Green became the first Black boys basketball coach in Des Moines Public Schools when he joined the Tech High staff in the 1970s. Green served as the head coach of the boys basketball team and a coach for the boys cross country team at North for 22 years.

He led North’s boys basketball team to the state tournament, and was an assistant coach at Des Moines East when the girls basketball program won a state title. He was inducted to North’s Wall of Fame.

Green coached at the college level, including a stint as assistant coach with the Drake men’s basketball program.

People shared their condolences and memories of Green on social media. One person shared that he was a “man who loved what he did and that meant a great deal to so many young men.” Others shared pieces of advice they had gotten from “Coach Green” over the years.

His son followed in his father’s footsteps. Mel Green Jr. retired from DMPS after 35 years of service and is the head girls track coach at Urbandale High School.

Alyssa Hertel is a college sports recruiting reporter for the Des Moines Register. Contact Alyssa at ahertel@dmreg.com or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Former Des Moines North, Drake basketball coach Mel Green Sr. dies

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