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Legendary Idaho boys high school basketball coach dies of apparent suicide

Coeur d'Alene High boys basketball coach Dean Lundblad is shown in this photo from 1979.
Coeur d'Alene High boys basketball coach Dean Lundblad is shown in this photo from 1979. (Chris Anderson / Cowles Publishing)

Retired Coeur d’Alene High School teacher and Idaho Hall of Fame basketball coach Dean Lundblad died after jumping from the towering Veterans Memorial Centennial Bridge on Tuesday, according to witnesses.

Lundblad, 78, reportedly parked his truck on the westbound shoulder of the Interstate 90 bridge and climbed over the railing around 5:30 p.m. Two passing motorists reported the apparent suicide.

The bridge spans a valley above Bennett Bay north of Coeur d’Alene. It is about 300 feet high. Lundblad’s death is under investigation by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

Lundblad posted a 344-150 record in 16 seasons coaching the Coeur d’Alene High boys, winning 19 or more games each season. The Vikings qualified for 13 state tournaments and won a state title in 1973. He was inducted into the Idaho Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

He was a social studies teacher at Coeur d’Alene High from 1968-95.

Lundblad’s son, Kurt Lundblad, starred at the high school in 1985 and went on to become Coeur d’Alene High’s boys basketball coach for three seasons (2013-16).

The death is the latest school-related tragedy for the Coeur d’Alene community.

Two weeks ago, Coeur d’Alene High principal Troy Schueller died from what school officials described as an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound.

And on Dec. 29, Coeur d’Alene High School sophomore and football player Jacob Leeder was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 90 in Coeur d’Alene.

This story is developing.

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