BIRTHPLACE: Eveleth, Minn.
BORN: March 7, 1908
DIED: December 16, 1986
TEAMS/ASSOCIATIONS: Roseau, Minnesota High School
Oscar Almquist grew up playing hockey in Eveleth, Minnesota, and went on to star as a goalie for the high school team from 1923-1927. After a two-year interval with Virginia of the Arrowhead Amateur League he entered St. Mary's College at Winona, Minnesota. At St. Mary's, he played four varsity years and was named both team captain and to the All American team in 1933.
Almquist returned to Northeastern Minnesota after graduation to begin a four-year professional career, first with hometown Eveleth Rangers in the Central League, followed by three seasons with St. Paul Saints in the American Hockey Association. During this period he was named to league all star teams in both the 1934 and 1936 seasons. The coaching career, for which he would become legendary began at Williams, Minnesota, in 1937, followed by Roseau, in 1938, where he coached the high school "B" team until 1941, while at the same time playing for the amateur Cloverleafs. In 1941, the Eveleth native became Roseau's head coach, a position he would hold until 1967. During this period Roseau High School became a perennial power winning state titles in 1946, 1958, 1959, and 1961. Roseau appeared in the state event fourteen times, and in addition to the state championships they were runner-ups on four occasions, third place finishers once, and captured two consolation titles.
When Almquist gave up coaching to become strictly athletic director and high school principal, his teams had posted a record of 404 wins, 148 losses, and 21 ties., including a 49-game winning streak from 1957-1959. A member of the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame, the "Big-O" was truly a "Giant of the North."