DELANO — The Delano basketball team was supposed to end its season at the Class 3A state tournament for the fourth time in the school’s history and the third time under current coach Terry Techam and his coaching staff. That of course did not happen, as the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly ended the winter sports season and is continually taking a bigger bite out of the spring season.
Delano was one of the last teams to play a game before the Minnesota State High School League shuttered the remainder of the season. The Tigers defeated Fridley March 12 at St. Michael-Albertville High School to claim the Section 5-3A championship and the state berth that goes with it. A day later, with several sections yet to have been decided, the league announced that the season was over immediately.
The Tigers finished with a 25-4 record.
The season record and the state tournament will forever fall under the impressive list of accomplishments for coach Techam, but he and all head coaches know that a successful season comes from the working hands of the assistant coaches as much as it does the head coach.
For his work this year, Techam’s assistant Jason Monke was noticed and honored by the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association with his inclusion on the list of the 2019-20 Assistant Coaches of the Year.
Monke is one of 10 coaches from all classes on the list.
“This was very unexpected, but I am very honored to be one of the coaches awarded with Assistant Coach of the Year,” he said. “It means a lot to me because I am so proud to be a part of our boys basketball program here in Delano.”
Monke just completed his 10th season as an assistant at Delano, and his 25th season of coaching overall.
“Coach Techam and coach (Jamie) Longstreet are absolutely phenomenal to work with, and the student athletes we are fortunate enough to work with here are second to none,” said Monke.
Monke paid his dues, coaching at all levels. He has coached grades 7-12 for both boys and girls in his 25 years. Monke has coached in New England and North Dakota (Kulm and Washburn). Before arriving at Delano, he coached in Minnesota at Royalton and Sauk Centre.
Also, Techam was named the Section 5-3A coach of the year, and Delano was the section academic team champion.
2019-20 ASSISTANT COACHES OF THE YEAR
Mark Haddorf — Lakeville North
Christopher Johnson — Minneapolis North
Darin Johnson — Minnewaska
Jason Monke — Delano
Dillon Naumann — Princeton
Matt Norton — St. Francis
Chandler Sentell — Minnehaha Academy
Steven Sjostrand — Kittson Central
Lee VanNyhuis — Osakis
Tony Yazbeck — Cretin-Derham Hall
2019-20 COACHES OF THE YEAR
Class AAAA: David Flom — Eden Prairie
Class AAA: Omar McMillan — Richfield
Class AA: Brad King — Caledonia
Class A: Wade Grinde — Spring Grove