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In boys hoops job search, ‘This is still Mitchell’

As the point person in the search for a new Mitchell High School boys basketball coach, Activities Director Cory Aadland has heard plenty of opinions about the job.

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As the point person in the search for a new Mitchell High School boys basketball coach, Activities Director Cory Aadland has heard plenty of opinions about the job.

There’s one sentiment he’s not buying: that the Kernel job isn’t a good one for a coach.

“I’ve had a number of people tell me that it’s not a good job and I don’t agree with that at all,” Aadland said. “There’s only 18 Class AA boys basketball head coaching jobs in the state and Mitchell is one of those.”

The Kernels are seeking a new coach after Erik Skoglund resigned earlier this month after four seasons on the sidelines. Mitchell did not win a varsity game during the 2016-17 season, finishing the year at 0-21 and the Kernels have not qualified for the Class AA state tournament since longtime coach Gary Munsen retired in 2012.

“This is still Mitchell,” Aadland said. “People are so quick to think about the lack of success we’ve had in the last five years but it was not that long ago that we were competing for state championships. I think people have short memories sometimes with things like this.”

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Since South Dakota moved from two basketball classifications to three in 1985-86, Mitchell has made the most state championship game appearances of any Class AA boys school, appearing 12 times and winning seven times, with the last title coming in 2005. Sioux Falls O’Gorman, the reigning Class AA champion, has made 10 appearances in the title game with six championships, all since 2006.  

“I’ve talked to a number of people and coaches and athletic directors and they get it. They know that it’s an attractive job,” Aadland said. “At the end of the day, it’s still the boys basketball coaching job in Mitchell, South Dakota, and that means something.”

As for the coaching vacancy itself, Aadland said he will continue to take applications for the job into early April, which is when the school district will have a better idea of what teaching jobs also need to be filled.

“It’s been good so far,” he said. “I’m pleased with what we’ve seen to this point and once we get to that first week of April, we’ll get serious about what we have for applications and teaching openings.”

Aadland said there’s not a rush to fill the position.

“People are eager to see someone hired and I get that,” Aadland said. “But I want to take the time and get the right guy, and not just hire someone to fill the opening.”

Related Topics: BOYS BASKETBALLKERNELS
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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