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Tom Mix, Published April 26 2012

Shanley promotes assistant to head boys basketball coach

FARGO – Fargo Shanley High School did not have to look far to find its next boys basketball coach.

The school’s choice has been sitting in the No. 2 chair on the Deacons’ bench the past two seasons.

Shanley officially announced that Shane Alderman will be taking over the head coaching position during a press conference on Thursday at McCormick Gymnasium.

Alderman replaces Leon Knodel, who coached Shanley the previous six seasons before resigning in March following the Deacons’ 78-74 loss to Grand Forks Red River in the North Dakota Class A state championship game.

“I was not necessarily thinking about being a head coach in any capacity,” Alderman said. “I enjoyed being an assistant for a number of years, but with coach Knodel leaving and my son (Dylan) still active in the program and my daughter active in the girls program I thought it would be a great opportunity. Hopefully it’s a good fit for all parties.”

Knodel stepped down to pursue his masters degree in education administration creating an opening for Alderman, who has been an assistant boys basketball coach the last eight years – two at Shanley and six at Fargo North. Alderman was an assistant coach on the Spartan’s 2006 state championship team. His only high school head coaching experience was three years (1991-94) with the Hillsboro girls basketball program.

He inherits a talented Deacons squad that was 19-6 last season and only graduates three seniors.

“We are bringing back a really good team,” Alderman said. “We are bringing back some guys that have shown some leadership qualities, some guys who shown some toughness and some guys who really want to play with each other as a team. … I’m sure their goal is to win a state championship next year.”

Alderman also gets the opportunity to coach his son, who will be a senior next winter.

“I’m excited about it,” said Dylan Alderman about playing for his father. “He’s been with me my whole basketball career. I don’t know how different it will be, but having a lot of our main guys coming back it’s going to be a fun year. We just hope to get better over the summer and bring it next year.”

Dylan and most of the Deacons roster have played with each other since grade school often playing pick-up games in the Alderman’s driveway, which pretty much eliminated the need for a meet and greet between the coach and the players.

“Anytime you can bring somebody in to take over a program that he has been a part of and knows the athletes already, it makes things a little easier on the transition,” Shanley activities director Randy Nelson said.

The Deacons return three of their top four scorers from last season. A.J. Jacobson averaged 23.8 points per game as a junior, sophomore Patrick Strom averaged 19.4 ppg and junior Dylan Alderman averaged 10.0 ppg.

“It’s going to be nice not to have to change up a lot,” Jacobson said. “I think we will know what he expects. … He’s had the experience with us last year and at North he was the junior varsity coach when they won state. Hopefully he can bring that experience and we keep moving up and keep getting better as a team.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651