New girls basketball season brings changes
The new high school basketball season brings with it some noteworthy changes for Rochester teams.
The new high school girls basketball season comes with some noteworthy changes for Rochester teams.
There's be two new head coaches in Rochester as Aaron Berg replaces legendary Myron Glass at Lourdes, and Marcus Leloux takes over at Century for Chris Stenzel.
• Berg, 43, was hired in late May at Lourdes. He previously coached for 13 seasons in the Century program (1997-2010), the last 10 as head coach. He guided Century to its first winning seasons in 2005-'06 and '06-'07, and the Panthers shared the Big Nine Conference crown with Owatonna in 2007.
Berg was honored as the Big Nine Coach of the Year in '07, and was the Section 1AAAA Coach of the year in '09. The Panthers were 115-148 in his 10 seasons with the varsity.
Berg began coaching in the Lourdes youth traveling program the season after he left Century.
"I think when you follow a legend there's bound to be some level of pressure you're going to feel," Berg said when he was hired.
"But what has helped has been working with Myron the last four years.Getting to know him as a coach and as a person will make this transition easier for me."
• Leloux, 32, was also hired in May at Century. He and his young family moved to Rochester in 2013 from South Dakota and he got his introduction to Minnesota and Big Nine Conference girls basketball last season as an assistant coach at John Marshall under new head coach Phil Schroeder.
Leloux, who teaches at Rochester Alternative Learning Center, was the head girls coach for four seasons at Harrisburg, S.D., and led his team to the small-class state title in 2012.
"It's a great opportunity to coach again in a good (Big Nine) conference, and I'm really excited about it," Leloux said in May.
• Other noteworthy changes include the expansion of the Big Nine Conference from 10 to 12 teams with the addition of Red Wing and Northfield, which means that Big Nine teams will now play 22 conference games within the limit of 26 regular-season games.
The change in the Big Nine also spurred a major change in the format of the annual Rotary/US Bank Holiday Classic. The former three-day tournament featuring eight varsity boys and eight varsity girls teams has been replaced by a two-day (Dec. 29-30) event with 16 boys and 16 girls varsity teams playing in four mini brackets. The B squad tournament has been eliminated.