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George Pfeifer, the former head coach at Idaho, will take over the Lewis and Clark girls basketball team. (Ingrid Barrentine / Associated Press)

George Pfeifer hired to coach Lewis and Clark girls basketball

Just when you thought the level of coaching in Greater Spokane League girls basketball couldn’t get better, Lewis and Clark has hired George Pfeifer.

Pfeifer, whose Lewis Clark State College men’s teams were a combined 295-206 in 16 years, replaces Jim Redmon, who resigned to take the Tigers’ boys head coaching position.

“He has such a high basketball IQ,” LC principal Jeremy Ochse said. “He has an unbelievable resume for a high school coach. A couple things came out during the interview process. No. 1, he is a winner. And he connects with students and families. It’s all wins for our school.”

Pfeifer, 58, spent a year as an assistant for the Gonzaga University men’s team last year. He was an assistant for a season at Montana State and spent three years as head coach at Montana State-Billings. After leaving LCSC, he was an assistant for a season at Idaho before spending two years as head coach for the Vandals.

He got his start in coaching and teaching at St. Maries, Idaho, where he took over a program that had gone 2-38 and turned it into a winner in three seasons. He’s a 1974 St. Maries graduate.

In many ways Pfeifer has come full circle.

“That’s what my wife said to me,” said Pfeifer, who was also hired as a teacher at LC.

Pfeifer and his wife, Susan, moved to Spokane two years ago. She’s beginning her third year working for Spokane Public Schools.

“My wife and I made a conscious choice to get back and live in Spokane,” said Pfeifer, who has been a substitute teacher the last two years.

Pfeifer interviewed for the Coeur d’Alene boys head coaching job last year but didn’t pursue it after learning the school didn’t have a teaching position.

“That’s part of my career change,” he said. “I wanted to get back to teaching and coaching.”

Pfeifer knows he’s taking over a program with a rich tradition.

“Jim did a wonderful job,” Pfeifer said. “If you look at some of the situations I’ve been in in the past, this one certainly isn’t broken. I’m not coaching here to be the next Division I coach some place. I’ve stood on that stone before. I’m here to make my players and team the best it can be.”