27 December 2013

Shane Wyandt reaches 100-win milestone

Tiger coach Shane Wyandt joins 100-win Club
Over the past 40 years the successful Tiger football program has had but three head coaches--Chuck Hansen, Earl Wetzel and Mark Froehling.

That continuity and consistency in the coaching staff has produced several conference and section championships, state tournament appearances and a Prep Bowl runner-up finish.

During that same period, the FHS boys basketball head coaching position has been a revolving door with the head job changing hands no less than a dozen times.

That's one of the reasons Shane Wyandt's 100th career victory, a non-conference triumph over Rochester Century on Dec. 12, as Tiger head coach is so impressive.

Wyandt, who played and coached at Spring Lake Park before assuming the Farmington position at the outset of the 2004-05 season, said he took the job with the idea of sticking around awhile.

"Spring Lake Park has had the same coach for 20-plus years and they have become a power in that area," he said. "I'm not the type of coach that's interested in hopping around just to advance."

Wyandt's first year at Farmington didn't produce many of his now 103 wins. In fact it produced only one of them.

"I was told when I took the job that it wouldn't necessarily be an easy transition and there was a lot of work to be done," he said. "I don't think that was meant to be a negative, just a result of the continual change in coaches."

"The thought of 100 wins didn't even occur to me back then. Looking back, I would have liked to have gotten to that number sooner but I am proud of my players and coaches who have put in a tremendous amount of work to build our program."

Wyandt said stability and tradition are the two biggest improvements he has seen over his now nine-plus years with the Tiger hoops program.

"We have off-season program opportunities year round," he said. "Our youth programs have grown in numbers and those teams are playing higher level competition. That is very important because that is what they will see once they get to the high school."

The Tiger coach said he had two long-range goals when he assumed the head coaching position at FHS: 1) improving the overall program and 2) making boys' basketball something the student body and community would take pride in supporting.

 "I think we have made great strides toward those goals," he said. "I'm very proud that we have earned the respect of other teams in our league and that we are seen as a competitive program year in and year out."

Farmington won its first Missota Conference championship in 37 years in 2009, the same season they advanced to the Section 1AA semifinals. Wyandt's tenure as coach has also produced three of Farmington's seven 1000-point career scorers--Jake Lippert, Josh Zitzmann and Darren Beenken.

This season the Tigers are off to a 7-1 start and are ranked 10th in the most recent Class 4A state poll.

Next season will provide another transition for Wyandt and his staff as the Tigers move to the ultra-competitive South Suburban Conference.

"It will definitely be a challenge," Wyandt said. "Night in and night out we will be facing some of the top basketball programs in the state...For now though we are focusing on making our last year in the Missota the best it can be. Then we can start thinking about the South Suburban."

Wyandt said reaching the 100-win milestone was rewarding but he made clear getting there was by no means a one-man accomplishment.

"We started in an extremely tough position and the kids in the beginning didn't receive all of the positives the ones are today," he said. "But they worked just as hard and I hope they are proud of being part of the foundation for the success we are having now.

"I'd also like to recognize my assistant coaches, especially Tharen Johnson who has been with me from the beginning, for all of their time and effort. The loyalty of players and coaches in this work-in-progress have been great."