Deanovic/Meisner Athletic Scholarship
The Deanovic/Meisner Athletic Scholarship is created to encourage and support students who participate in the men’s basketball and football programs at WSU.
Each recipient must be an undergraduate student enrolled full-time at Winona State
Each recipient must be classified as a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior.
If an incoming freshman is selected, the student must have participated in either football or basketball during high school and must have the potential for participating as an active member of either the WSU men’s basketball or football team.
Peter Deanovic ’29 of Bloomington passed away in October 2001 due to pneumonia. He was 94.
Deanovic was a star athlete. He grew up in Buhl, Minnesota, where he earned 16 letters in football, basketball, track and swimming. After graduating from Winona State University, he taught industrial arts and physical education at Columbia Heights High School for 14 years. He was the first athletic coach there, and in his first year, coached his undefeated basketball team to the state tournament. Deanovic won all-conference football and basketball honors at WSU when the school was Winona State Teacher’s College. During World War II, He served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy. Later he was a coach, teacher and athletic director in Anchorage, Alaska, where he started the high school football program.
He joined the Gophers chain gang, the unit that moves the measuring chains on the football field, in 1931. He also worked on the Minnesota Vikings chain gang for 12 years, and after that , worked security in the Vikings press box.
Deanovic retired from teaching in 1975 after teaching at the former Ramsey Junior High School in Minneapolis for 20 years. He was a referee for high school and college sports for most of his career. He was also a referee for some Minneapolis Lakers games in the George Mikan era.
Friends and family members describe Deanovic as outgoing, rugged, a taskmaster, a great leader, a great conversationalist and storyteller, an amazing extrovert. He knew his goals and the results he wanted. He also was known for his legendary handshake – his trademark.