2017-06-29 / Sports

Northport names new boys basketball coach

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


DAN STOWE addresses the Northport boys basketball team while filling in for former coach Chris McCann in a 2016 game at Lake Leelanau St. Mary. Stowe will coach the boys this winter. DAN STOWE addresses the Northport boys basketball team while filling in for former coach Chris McCann in a 2016 game at Lake Leelanau St. Mary. Stowe will coach the boys this winter. For the fourth time in less than a year, a varsity basketball coach has been named in Northport.

Northport Public Schools on Monday finalized plans to hire former coach and longtime educator Dan Stowe to replace Dave Ginsberg as coach of the boys basketball program.

Ginsberg, who guided the Wildcats to a Cherryland Conference championship in his 40th season as a coach last winter, informed the district of his decision to retire in late May. He said he wants to spend more time with family and less time making 70-mile round trips to the northern tip of the peninsula.

The no-nonsense coach also said he sensed more disappointment than joy from the Northport community, and that he didn’t get any feedback.

“It’s probably the only job I had where there was nothing — which is OK, we did pretty good — but I didn’t feel that there were people really feeling good about it,” Ginsberg said. “That was just my feeling, and there were some things I didn’t feel good about. I’m hard to play for. Have been for many years. I set the standards high for the basketball stuff. I set the standards high for academics and social things and cooperation within the community. There’s a lot of things I’m proud to say I was proud to weave into my coaching. I don’t think the community appreciated it. ... I wasn’t getting all the things that make for a good situation for a basketball program.”

The 71-year-old didn’t go into much more detail, saying he simply wasn’t the right fit for the community.

He said he wishes the Northport community well and expects the team to have a great season in 2017-18.

The man chosen to lead the senior-laden Wildcats is no stranger to doing just that. Stowe previously coached the girls team for nearly a decade and led the boys to a district title in his only season at the helm.

“The interest I had in this, first of all, is that these are good guys,” Stowe said. “They’re fun to be around, they’re good students and they’re developing athletes. They have a lot of potential. When the job was made available, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to work with some people that I enjoy being around. I have coached this team before and they’re just a joy to work with.”

Stowe, a member of the 1988 Northport boys state championship team, inherits a team that brings back five starters and all but one player from its 15-4 campaign a year ago.

Among the returning starters is Stowe’s son, junior center Zach Stowe.

“He has a real nice group of senior boys that he’s going to be playing with,” Dan said. “They’re a real good group of guys. Pretty talented players, a pretty tight cohort. I’ve gotten to know them quite a bit. I really look forward to having them as a team and working closely with them.”

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