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Lee: Plenty of assistants would make great head coaches

This region has a number of fine deputies – and I’m not talking about those you’d find in county law enforcement.

I’m specifically talking about assistant coaches.

I’ve believed for a long time that one of the best high school assistant basketball coaches in the region – one of the best assistants in any sport, period – is Marc Allert at Post Falls.

Now Allert gets his chance. He was named the Post Falls girls basketball coach last week.

A 20-year assistant, Allert inherits a healthy program from Chris Johnson, the head coach for 17 years including back-to-back state titles.

It got me to thinking about other assistants that could be head coaches.

Ferris football defensive coordinator Grady Emmerson, previously a head coach at North Central, should get another shot some day. Heck, there are a couple of other Ferris assistants that would do a nice job as a head coach.

Gonzaga Prep football coach Dave McKenna has a terrific assistant in offensive line coach Bob Cassano. Other assistants in North Idaho that would make good head coaches are Lake City assistant boys basketball coach Kelly Reed (in basketball or football), Lakeland girls basketball assistant Deanna Lange, Coeur d’Alene assistant football coach Ron Nelson and Lakeland assistant football coach Mike Bayley. All quality people and all loyal.

Everything you’d want in a deputy and a future head coach.

Reclassification chatter

Here’s a word that is brought up way too often – reclassification.

Four proposals, including keeping the present format, were presented to the Idaho High School Activities Associa- tion’s board of directors at a meeting in early April. Three of the proposals called for trimming the six classifications to five.

When the sixth classification (4A) came into being earlier this decade, I was opposed. I think that classification, though, has a niche. Those schools don’t have the numbers to compete against the bigger 5As.

Idaho doesn’t have enough schools to equitably fill out six classes. The state should consolidate and eliminate a classification by merging the 1A Division I and 1A Division II classes.

The feeling I got from talking with IHSAA executive director John Billetz is the present system will likely remain. That is largely why three new proposals and the current system were put before the board. It was a case of the reclassification committee muddying the waters to make it easier to stay the current course.

Seven new proposals came before the reclassification committee and the committee trimmed that list to three. The committee this week decided to recommend keeping the present system at the June board meeting.

Lakeland athletic director Trent Derrick authored a reclassification proposal. His wasn’t one of the three selected, but a couple of them were similar to his. He wants to see Lakeland and Moscow drop into a bigger 3A class along with four of the five current Intermountain League schools. Derrick argues that a bigger league that would offer more entertaining district tourneys and more state berths best suits Lakeland.

Derrick has a good point. He knows, though, that things will stay the same.