Reusse: Staples pride runs deep for in-demand NBA assistant

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 18, 2013 - 9:50 PM

Dave Joerger, an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies and possible NBA head-coaching candidate, starred at Staples-Motley and Moorhead State.

Photo: Ross D. Franklin , Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Dave Joerger is the lead assistant for coach Lionel Hollins with the Memphis Grizzlies. They open play in the Western Conference finals on Sunday in San Antonio.

If some Brooklyn Nets fans have their way, this playoff run will be Joerger’s final résumé builder to becoming an NBA head coach. A group calling itself “Nets Fans Against Mediocrity” has started a petition drive to convince management to hire the 39-year-old Joerger.

That hiring would create quite a headline in a future edition of the Staples World, the weekly monitor of Joerger’s hometown. Dave was a kid in Staples in the 1980s when the Cardinals were powerful in most every sport on the high school agenda.

“There were 20 years or more when I don’t think there were many high school athletic programs in the country better than Staples-Motley, when you consider the size of the school,” Joerger said. “Wrestling, basketball, tennis, football …

“There were a lot of people who cared — coaches who were young and got people involved. They developed the winning tradition.”

Here in the Twin Cities, 140 miles southeast, the most famous of the Cardinals were Arden Beachy, and his brothers Colin and Ryan. Arden was a star as a quarterback, in basketball and in track and field in the late ’80s.

“It was a decade before that when it really started for Staples in basketball,” Joerger said. “Riewer and Wolhowe.”

Lynn Peterson was hired as the basketball coach in 1979. John Riewer and Craig Wolhowe were sophomores. Over the next three winters, the Cardinals went 64-10 and to a pair of state tournaments.

“We had those two outstanding winter sports — basketball and wrestling — but there was no competition,” Joerger said. “Everyone was in it together; to keep the winning tradition going.”

That included the parents, which hasn’t always been the case in recent years. Various coaches have been run off for unspecified reasons, including Peterson during the 2010-11 season.

“It’s kind of sad, what happened to some outstanding coaches,” said Joerger, whose father Joe coached tennis and girls’ basketball in the Staples-Motley system.

Dave Joerger graduated from Staples-Motley in 1992 and then played point guard in Moorhead. “I know they call it something else now [Minnesota State Moorhead], but it’s always going to be Moorhead State to me,” he said.

While he was playing there, Staples-Motley was having its most-famous basketball moment: a 54-52 loss to Minneapolis North in the 1995 title game of the “Sweet Sixteen,” the first season of a two-year experiment to bring back the excitement of one-class basketball to the state tournament.

“My little brother Blaine had quite a game against North,” said Joerger, in an understatement.

Blaine Joerger, a 6-2 guard, outscored Khalid El-Amin 28-17. He went to the other Minnesota State, in Mankato, and El-Amin went to UConn and led the Huskies to an NCAA title in 1999.

The Joergers and El-Amin would be united again. “I had Khalid in Bismarck in 2001-02 — Khalid and [Arizona’s] Miles Simon both,” Joerger said. “We won the CBA championship.”

Dave Joerger figured he was going to follow his father Joe, and his high school mentor, Peterson, into coaching. It seemed logical that would be in high school, until he hooked up as a 22-year-old assistant with the Bismarck, N.D., franchise (Dakota Wizards) in the IBA.

The league had a haughty name — the International Basketball Association — but was as low budget as pro basketball can get.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 5
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Peralta 1
Cincinnati - LP: P. Villarreal 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 4
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 3
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: C. Fien 6
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 11 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bergman 3
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 6
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Philadelphia - LP: J. Williams 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 1
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How do you feel about the decision to reinstate Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close