Marion looks to Dave Roe as next boys coach

Roe was assistant coach for eight years

Greg Bates Leader Correspondent

After spending last season coaching at the eighth-grade level at Marion, Dave Roe will step into the varsity boys position for the Mustangs.

He’s been an assistant coach at the varsity level eight years, including three most recently at Tomahawk. Roe is looking forward to making the everyday decisions for the varsity team.

“I’m really excited about doing it,” said Roe, who is a Merrill native. “It’s been my dream basically before I even started college. I always wanted to be a varsity coach at one time or another. I’m really excited for this opportunity even though Marion doesn’t have a rich tradition of basketball.”

Roe is hoping to change that.

“I’ve been part of some good programs in the past and just having those opportunities and seeing what other successful programs have done, I think I know what it’s going to take to run a successful program,” Roe said.

Marion went 5-21 last year but won three of its final five games. Roe is hoping to build off that late-season success. It was a younger team last year, with four seniors, and Rose believes the younger players started coming on late.

Roe was able to work with his players four days a week from June to mid-July and also participate in two summer leagues. He was impressed with the turnout from his players, and he’s expecting more of a time commitment from his guys in order to get better.

During the work in the summer months, Roe was able to implement his new offense, which is more of a swing and five-out type of scheme.

Roe knows it’s going to take a little time to turn around the program.

“I think we can win a lot of games this year looking at our schedule, but I think that’s being a little overly optimistic,” Roe said. “Our goal is to just steadily improve all year long. I think next year is going to be the year we can really make some serious noise in the conference, then I think we should have another summer worth of fundamentals and offensive work, and I think me just getting familiar with the conference, too. I think that stuff will really help us go to the next level by next year.”