As of Wednesday, November 29, 2017
DALLAS — When Dallas High School began its search for a new girls basketball coach, Tim Ehlers was ready to take his shot.
He was an assistant coach for the junior varsity and varsity girls basketball teams at West Salem for the last two years and coached an AAU team.
“I was looking for a head coach position,” he said. “When this one opened up, I talked with my family and decided it could never hurt to try. I felt like I was ready for a head coach position, maybe not at the 6A level, but at 4A or 5A.”
Dallas fit the bill — with an added bonus.
“It has that sense of community,” Ehlers said. “It’s close to Salem, but you still get that small, close-knit community.”
Coaching was always something Ehlers saw himself gravitating toward.
“My senior year of high school back in Nebraska, we won a state championship,” Ehlers said. “I had a wonderful high school coach who really instilled good things in us. It wasn't always just about basketball, it was about doing good things with your life. Coaching basketball provides a chance to work with a group of kids that you can influence in a positive way.”
“Tim is a great fit,” Dallas athletic director Tim Larson said. “He cares about the total student-athletes. He pushes them to be better every day, and basic fundamentals are a focus every practice.”
Ehler’s experience coaching also made him an attractive candidate, Larson said.
“He has been working with a few different basketball programs over the years and comes to us with rave reviews,” Larson said. “He’s a great fit for Dallas.”
After being named coach, Ehlers began the process of getting to know players.
Ehlers inherits a team that has four seniors and four juniors.
“Most of the schools have three to four weeks of summer ball in June,” Ehlers said. “It’s a chance to try some new sets and get to know the girls and their strengths.”
While Dallas may lack height, the team's speed will be an advantage, Ehlers said, as will a new philosophy on offense, one predicated on adaptation and changing on the fly.
“We set up a play, but if we can find an opening by changing it, that’s what we’ll do,” Ehlers said.
The Dragons open the season at North Salem Wednesday (today) at 6:45 p.m.
The team’s first home game is Friday at 7 p.m. against Reynolds.
“We’re really excited to get this going,” Ehlers said. “It’s hard to judge yourself practicing against your teammates, but we get a good test on Wednesday (today).”