After graduating from St. Johns University in 1953, Julian “Curly” Gasperlin grabbed his belongings and moved to Goodridge, Minnesota where he taught and coached. Finding no place to live, he camped out in the gymnasium, showered in the locker room, and went to the local restaurant for food. At the restaurant, he met his beloved Irene (Vraa) whom he later married. After a successful tenure at Goodridge, Curly was recruited to teach and coach at Sacred Heart High School.
In 1961, he and Irene moved into the small apartment behind the gymnasium with their two little girls, Judy and Joni, and later their son, Danny. The Gasperlin family was welcomed into the community and the football team quickly discovered that Curly had brought with him a strict code of conduct reminiscent of former coach Jim Brinkman. It was not unusual to have Curly call a player’s house at 10:00pm to find out if the athlete was home. Because of his personal athletic skills, the team learned that their coach had extremely high expectations for them.
During his seven years at the helm of the football and basketball teams, Curly recorded a 41-17 win/loss record in football and a 61-78 win/loss record in basketball. In 1964, Curly’s football team went undefeated and opponents only scored two touchdowns against the defense. During the 1965-1966 season, the Eagles basketball team went 19-3, which is one of the best overall records in school history. He also coached the track team.
Curly was an intense competitor, a gentle man, and a Christian example to everyone who met him. His legacy to Sacred Heart athletics was his commitment to excellence, which he accomplished with hard work, self-discipline, and a strong work ethic.