Schommer leaving Danville to return to North Dakota

May 07, 2004|JILL ERWIN

The long road that brought Justin Schommer to Danville is taking him back home.

The Danville girls basketball coach has resigned to take a job at Red River High School in Grand Forks, N.D., near where he grew up.

"I just got an opportunity to go back home," Schommer said. "I've got a lot of friends and family back there. It's also in a school system where I know a lot of people."

Schommer compiled a 33-22 record in two seasons at Danville, including a 20-8 record and 12th Region All "A" Classic title this year. The Admirals set a school record for wins and had their first winning record in nine seasons. They also advanced to the 12th Region Tournament for only the second time in school history.


"This puts him about two hours from his mom and dad rather than the approximate 14-15 hours it is now. I can't blame him," Danville athletics director Sam Harp said. "We knew it was just a matter of time before we would lose him. He was definitely a diamond in the rough when we got him. I hate very much to lose him because he brought our girls program miles."

Schommer said he first heard about the job when Red River officials called him while he was in Florida over spring break. It's near the University of North Dakota, where Schommer was an assistant before taking the Danville job.

Red River is one of the largest schools in North Dakota, and finished fifth in the Class A state tournament this season.

He met with his Danville players Wednesday

Schommer met with his Danville players Wednesday to tell them about his departure.

"It's always something you're going to miss and as a coach, it's something I never look forward to doing," Schommer said. "Every time you move on, you have to leave something behind. I told them I'd still be following along and seeing how they're progressing."

Schommer said he has enjoyed watching the girls improve, from a 13-15 record the season before he arrived to last year's 45th District runner-up finish.

"The thing I've enjoyed most is just how receptive and hard working they've been to make themselves better ball players and to improve in the classroom," Schommer said.

"I just want them to remember that if they work hard and want something really bad, they can accomplish a lot of really good things. By working hard, you can become very successful, not only on the athletic field but in academics, too."

Harp said the job will hopefully be tied to a full-time teaching position, and for that reason will be posted for 30 days by state law.

"Obviously our No. 1 goal is to get a full-time, certified teacher and coach on staff here at the high school," Harp said. "We've posted the job, and we'll just have to wait and see what we get from that."

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