Peterson steps down as coachAfter four years of pacing the sideline as the Jamestown boys’ basketball team’s head coach, Darin Peterson will now take a seat. The 2010 West Region Coach of the Year announced his resignation Monday after wrapping up his best season at the helm. Jamestown finished 10-11 overall and fourth in the West Region with an 8-8 region record.
After four years of pacing the sideline as the Jamestown boys’ basketball team’s head coach, Darin Peterson will now take a seat.
The 2010 West Region Coach of the Year announced his resignation Monday after wrapping up his best season at the helm. Jamestown finished 10-11 overall and fourth in the West Region with an 8-8 region record.
“The program right now, I think, is in excellent shape,” he said. “There are several things in place for a new coach to step in and really run with it. .. Right now this might be a nice time to hand off that torch.”
Peterson, a 1990 Jamestown College graduate, took over a basketball program that lacked organization and direction, but in his four years has revamped Jamestown basketball from youth leagues to varsity squads.
“He worked with the boosters, youth basketball and their coaches,” said Jamestown High School Activities Director Jim Roaldson said. “From that perspective you can’t ask anything more out of a coach.”
Roaldson said the search will not only take place within the current coaching staff but it will also be open to applicants.
“We’ve got some teaching positions that are open and available at this point in time,” he said. “So we’re going to open up our head position for applications and see what the interest is.”
In Peterson’s first two seasons as coach, there was a lot of adversity to battle through and little success to show from it.
The Jays were only able to win five games combined in the two years, but then the growth and progress became a little more apparent when Jamestown went 8-13 in 2008-09.
“I think the biggest thing when we first took over the program was getting used to the West (Region),” Peterson said. “We went from a league that we had all the resources and information to a league where we really didn’t know anything about anybody.”
The Jays became comfortable with the league change and eventually turned into a team that could compete with anyone in the state.
In Jamestown’s final home game of this past season, the Jays pulled off one of the biggest upsets in school history.
Jamestown defeated the No. 1-ranked team and eventual Class A state champion Bismarck Demons 67-61 in what was Peterson’s last home game as head coach.
The Jays added another victory to close out the regular season 10-9 — Jamestown’s first winning regular season record under Peterson — but despite entering the postseason on a two-game winning streak, Jamestown struggled in tournament play.
The Jays, who entered the West Region Tournament as the No. 4 seed, fell to fifth-seeded Minot 56-43 and then to eighth-seeded Dickinson 66-47 to end the season.
“Over the last four years we’ve had four all-conference basketball players, three Lions All-Stars basketball players, so we’ve had a lot of individual accomplishments,” Peterson said. “Now we’re at the point where we have an identity, we have a reputation, we’ve got competitiveness. We’re a program that you have to practice for to compete against.”
The disappointing finish couldn’t cover up the progress that the Jays made over the years and the West Region acknowledged that fact as well as Peterson was named the region’s Coach of the Year.
“Darin worked very hard in this position,” Roaldson said. “He did a lot of things that you expect out of a head coach. He definitely put in the time.”
Peterson said it’s been a bitter-sweet feeling stepping down from the position, but he’s happy with everything he’s done and all the steps the program has made over the last four years.
“I want to thank everyone for their support, allowing me to build a program and having the opportunity to work with great student-athletes,” said Peterson. “When we started this whole journey four years ago we were kind of in a state of flux in direction. I was one who wanted to get (the program) on a different path and to get all the kids believing. ... The program now, I think, is in excellent shape.”
Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com