Drew Weber always had a goal of coaching Class A basketball. And on Monday, that became a reality as Tea Area tweeted that he had accepted the boys basketball coaching job.
Weber spent the last five seasons at Colome, compiling an 81-23 record and a SoDak 16 appearance this season. He loved "every second" of his time as a Cowboy, which also included being the school's athletic director and the Winner/Colome club baseball coach.
But Tea Area's school resources, being able to jump into the Class A ranks and moving closer to his hometown, Flandreau, was too hard to pass up. Weber doesn't expect to coach any other sports at Tea Area.
"I spent five years in Colome and I've loved every second of it," Weber said. "The Tea Area job came open and one of the very few jobs in the state-it might have been the only job-that I would have been interested in applying for. ... I think the Tea Area basketball job is one of the top-if not the top-basketball jobs in South Dakota, especially in Class A."
Weber inherits the Class A champion Titans, who have been in the Class A championship game in each of the past three seasons.
That success made the job even more appealing, despite needing to replace a pair of Division I players in Noah Freidel (South Dakota State) and Justin Hohn (University of California Irvine). Still, the "easy part" was taken care of under coach Chris Fechner.
"The foundation is already there, the easy part," Weber said. "We want to build on what's already been there. We want to find success and win a lot of games, but we want to do things the right way and create a program that the community can be proud of."
Weber will switch his attention to Tea Area basketball this summer as he still plans to coach the Winner/Colome club baseball team through the spring season. Kory Foss will take over coaching duties for the Legion baseball team.
As for Weber's role on Winner/Colome's amateur baseball team, that's still undecided. There's a chance he joins Flandreau's team.
"As of right now, I don't know. I'll probably decide after I figure out our summer schedule," Weber said. "... I grew up in Flandreau, so if I were to move back there to play baseball, I'd probably play there with all the guys I grew up playing baseball with. I still like playing in Winner/Colome."
Weber said leaving Colome is like "leaving your family." He praised the support of Colome's community and the athletes he coached during his time as a Cowboy.
"(Colome) really built me as a coach," Weber said. "The kids and community have supported me 100 percent, we never had any issues. I'm very thankful for the opportunity they gave me five years ago. It's almost like leaving your family because this has been my family for the past five years."
Connot accepts teaching job at Winner
Colome will also have to replace football coach Ben Connot, who accepted a teaching position in his hometown of Winner. He led the Cowboys to a Class 9B state championship this season, defeating Sully Buttes 48-42 in overtime in the title game. Connot's role under Winner coach Dan Aaker is unknown.
Weber said Colome hasn't decided on a new boys basketball or football coach.
"We're still in the process of interviewing people and figuring out what we have for teaching opportunities," Weber said. "Hopefully we'll have a lot more answers in the next week or two."