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Thursday, April 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Area schools have basketball coaching spots to fill

Chad Dezellem stepped down after 16 seasons as girls basketball coach at Shadle Park. (Dan Pelle)
Chad Dezellem stepped down after 16 seasons as girls basketball coach at Shadle Park. (Dan Pelle)

Just as one Greater Spokane League girls basketball team filled a head coaching vacancy, two other jobs came open.

And there are two regional boys basketball positions to be filled.

• At Ferris, the first name will remain the same, but the last name is different.

Ferris graduate and longtime Saxons assistant coach Rob Servine has been hired to replace Rob Coulter, who resigned last month after five seasons to devote more time to a growing business and family.

Servine has been the boys junior varsity coach the last two years. He also served as JV coach from 2004-09.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Servine said. “It’s a great group of girls and I know they’re willing to work hard. We want to increase the defensive pressure, and we need to run a lot and take advantage of mismatches.”

He graduated from Ferris in 1992 and played for the late Wayne Gilman.

“He is a true Saxon who has been extremely loyal to the program,” Ferris athletic director Stacey Ward said.

• Chad Dezellem has stepped down after 16 years as Shadle Park head girls coach.

“I spent a lot of time praying and thinking about it,” Dezellem said.

He plans to spend next year watching a daughter finish her senior year in track at the University of Montana.

Dezellem initially asked for a leave of absence, but the request was denied by the school district.

He hopes his longtime assistant, J.T. Johnson, succeeds him.

“He’s put his time in,” Dezellem said. “He’s been very good for me. He’s a Shadle graduate. He’s Shadle through and through.”

Johnson, Dezellem’s assistant the whole time, also coached for the late Linda Sheridan.

“I bleed green and gold,” Johnson, 59, said. “I want the job. I’d like to believe I’ve earned a shot at it.”

• Gabe Medrano resigned after five years as North Central’s girls coach.

“It came down to time,” Medrano said. “It was a really hard decision. I wanted to put the proper time in for the girls, but I’ve been working on my master’s degree and next year I’ll do my national boards. It’s very rigorous and I knew it wouldn’t be fair to the girls.”

Medrano coached the Indians to the State 3A tournament for the first time in school history in 2010-11, his second season.

“It’s been wonderful,” Medrano said of coaching. “I’ve had wonderful kids who bought into what we were trying to do. They went out and competed every day in the toughest league in the state by far. I think teams knew they had to be ready to play against us or we’d get in their face.”

• Drew Vanderpool has resigned as East Valley boys coach after 27 seasons split over two stints.

“It’s going to be nice to have Christmas and Thanksgiving and summer breaks,” Vanderpool, 54, said. “I had a great group of guys this year, but it was starting to wear on me.”

Vanderpool said he was thinking about retiring during the season.

“I’ll miss it for sure,” he said. “I’ll miss the competition of the games and coaching the guys every day. But I’m not going to miss the 12-hour days on a practice day or the 15 to 16 hours on game day. It’s time for somebody younger.”

• John Graham stepped down as Freeman boys basketball coach after four years.

“I’m old and tired of dealing with parents,” Graham said. “Ninety percent of the parents are great. I love coaching and the kids too much to be constantly defending what I do. I have no hard feelings. Maybe they can find somebody else who will do a better job.”

Graham took over a troubled program when parents were split on the dismissal of a former coach.

“When I got there it was in disarray,” Graham said. “They’d had four coaches in five years when I got there.”

Graham said his replacement should hit the ground running.

“There are four starters back and a lot of reserves who saw time,” Graham said. “It’s in better shape than how I found it.”

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