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Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Dan Goes Face To Face With Finck
I played basketball against Dick Finck. No, we didn't guard each other.  I was a senior at Battle Lake when Dick took over the boys' basketball program at Bertha-Hewitt for the winter of 1975-76.
 
I don't remember much about his teams then.  We had some pretty good athletes and had quite a bit of success.

Thirty years later, if I run one killer at half the speed I used to, I need the rest of the day for recovery...and Dick Finck is still the coach of the Bears' boys' basketball team...and he is on his way to the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
 
For 24 years, I have had the honor to work with Dick. He has changed, as we all have over the years. He has mellowed...REALLY!  He has become much better at subtle adjustments.  He now knows he doesn't have to coach every possession, every pass, every shot.
 
Sometimes you just let the kids play a little.
 
Dick reads kids better and has adjusted his style to what is expected and accepted in today's high school athletics.
 
Over the last 30 years, he has dealt with the disgruntled parent, the disappointed student-athlete, the over-crowded busses, the underachievers and the quitters.

But Dick would rather talk about the overachievers, the championship celebrations and the athletes that were also outstanding students.
 
He would rather relive the special moments, the bonds that develop, the fathering that goes on, the mentoring. All while helping to raise a wonderful family.
 
I have very seldom had any problems with Dick's athletes.  Things are expected of them, and even though they are kids, they respect the man at the front of the bus.
 
Dick Finck is a proud man...proud of his family, proud of his teams, proud of his community. He doesn't always shout it from the roof tops, but he lives it.  He speaks it.
 
If you got into the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame by winning state titles, Dick Finck would fall short. But the criteria is bigger than that and Dick has surpassed all the tests.
 
And you know what?  He's not done yet.
 
Congratulations Dick! It has been an honor working with you.
 
Another central Minnesota coach, Daryl Oja from Wadena who has coached at Melrose, will also be inducted.
 
I don't know Daryl very well, but have always enjoyed his insite on athletics when working with him in football and basketball.

Dick and Daryl will be inducted Sunday, October 30th at the DoubleTree Park Place Hotel in St. Louis Park.

Dan Skogen is the Sports Director at KWAD/KNSP/KKWS (Wadena).  He can be contacted at dan@sportscow.com

Posted By Dan Skogen
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