New head coach leads PCHS boys’ basketball into new era
November 11, 2016
Last season was one to forget for the Park City High School boys' basketball team. The Miners compiled a 1-21 overall record, with their only win coming against 2A Rockwell High School. Following the season, former head coach Caleb Fine stepped down after seven years at the helm, leaving the team in the hands of assistant-turned-head coach in Michael Doleac.
The former University of Utah standout and NBA player hopes to turn around a program that's certainly seen better days.
"I'm two days in," the new Head Coach said. "We'll figure it out as we go."
Although Doleac is still learning how to be a head coach, he certainly isn't lacking in experience. During his career at Utah, the center averaged 11.6 points and 6.8 rebounds and even helped the Utes reach the national championship game in 1998.
He impressed NBA scouts enough to throw his name into the 1998 NBA draft, where he was drafted No. 12 overall by the Orlando Magic. He spent 10 years in the league, even winning a league championship with Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat in 2006.
His experience on the sideline with a clipboard might be limited, but he hopes his college and professional stints on the court will help with his new position moving forward.
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"My experience as a college and professional player does lend a certain amount of credibility," Doleac said.
The first-year coach looks to focus on three things with the Miners. First and foremost, the team needs to focus on fundamentals. Doleac wants to ensure everyone on his team is playing the game the right way, buying into a team effort. Second, the players need to focus on the defensive end as much as the offense in Doleac's man-to-man style of play.
Finally, Park City will be running a motion offense, which is something that Doleac believes the players will love after mastering it.
"They'll be focused on sharing the ball: passing, moving, ball movement, player movement and trying to get everyone touches. Everyone understands how to play the game, so you can't be static. Every kid out there wants to feel the ball and hold it and move it, make something positive happen for the team. … Motion offense can be hard with that, but just because it's hard doesn't mean you can't do it."
The Miners lost some experience due to graduation last year, but one player that Doleac is excited to have back is Jack Lecher. The senior returns as the team's top rebounder in 2015-16, but there's just one problem — he's a point guard.
"That is not a good thing for our team, but really good for Jack and the way he plays," Doleac said. "I told our guys already [that] Jack better not be our leading rebounder. I still want him to get the same amount of rebounds, but we need someone else to go get rebounds too."
Doleac hopes to dive into the football roster a little bit to put together a team on the court that will be competitive in Region 10 this year. However, with the football season ending just last weekend, some of the players that the head coach expects to be factors are still hindered with injuries. This includes brothers Spencer and Collin Zur, as well as two-way lineman Eli Alford. Doleac believes that these guys, once healthy, will provide a spark to a team that could really use one heading into the campaign.
That said, there's a difference between being in football shape and basketball shape. It'll take some time for these guys to not only get back to full strength, but to be able to play the game of basketball the way that Doleac wants them to play.
"There's nothing like being in shape to play the game of basketball. The only way to get in shape to play basketball is to play basketball," Doleac said.
In his first year, Doleac isn't sure what to expect. He admits that he and Fine have similar philosophies when it comes to playing the game. But if the Miners can buy into the atmosphere and attitude that Doleac is looking to establish, the team will almost certainly top last year's mark of just one win on the season.
"This is my first time being the head coach and holding the reins," Doleac said. "It's my job to teach them and train them to work hard every day. I'm trying to make practice so competitive that games feel almost easy. … I'd like to develop that competitive attitude in our practices, so it's just a natural carryover. You're so tired of beating each other up in practice you're ready to go beat someone else up."
Park City's first game is scheduled for Nov. 22, where the Miners will host American Leadership Academy to open up the season.