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

NY Mets 8 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 5 FINAL
Baltimore 4
Toronto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 2 FINAL
Cleveland 4
San Diego 3 Top 10th Inning
Seattle 3
Chicago WSox 6 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Kansas City 13 FINAL
Texas 2
Oakland 9 Bottom 8th Inning
San Francisco 2
Wisc-Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Milwaukee 8
Arizona 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Colorado 0
Univ of Minnesota 6:05 PM
Minnesota
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Phoenix 6:00 PM
Orlando
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Toronto
Utah 6:30 PM
Boston
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Detroit 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Miami
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Memphis 7:00 PM
Houston
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Winnipeg
NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Detroit
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Colorado
Montreal 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 65 FINAL
Presbyterian 61
Campbell 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Liberty 6 1st Half 15:50
UNC-Asheville 5
Ohio State 11 1st Half 15:41
Penn State 8
Maine 6:00 PM
Albany
Duquesne 6:00 PM
Fordham
George Washington 6:00 PM
George Mason
Tennessee 6:00 PM
LSU
Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Louisville
SE Missouri St 6:00 PM
Morehead State
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Hartford 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Wagner 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Long Island 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
La Salle 6:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Providence 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
UCF 6:00 PM
South Florida
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
UMBC 6:00 PM
Vermont
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Bryant
Richmond 6:30 PM
Massachusetts
Wake Forest 7:00 PM
Duke
Purdue 7:00 PM
Michigan State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
St Bonaventure 7:00 PM
Saint Louis
New Mexico St 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Howard 7:00 PM
NJIT
SIU Edwardsville 8:00 PM
Eastern Ill
St Johns 8:00 PM
Marquette
TCU 8:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Cincinnati 8:00 PM
Tulsa
USC 8:00 PM
UCLA
Miss State 8:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Air Force 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nebraska 9:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:00 PM
San Jose St
San Diego St 10:00 PM
UNLV
Oregon 10:00 PM
Oregon State
UC Santa Barbara 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Toledo 64 FINAL
Northern Ill 68
Wake Forest 69 FINAL
Boston College 53
Eastern Illinois 35 FINAL
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 69 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
NC State 56
Massachusetts 26 2nd Half 11:19
St Bonaventure 26
Auburn 32 2nd Half
Florida 18
Penn State 4 1st Half 16:02
Indiana 9
Clemson 5:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Davidson 6:00 PM
La Salle
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Lafayette
Boston U 6:00 PM
Colgate
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
James Madison
Delaware 6:00 PM
Elon
Drexel 6:00 PM
Northeastern
Hofstra 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Towson 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Akron
Ball State 6:00 PM
Central Michigan
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Western Mich 6:00 PM
Eastern Michigan
Ohio U 6:00 PM
Kent State
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Illinois-Chicago 6:00 PM
Wright State
Alabama 6:25 PM
Vanderbilt
Detroit 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Purdue 7:25 PM
Wisconsin

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close