His record in 29 years (from the article):
- 1 Class AA state championship
- 8 trips to the state finals
- 10 sectional crowns
- 25 regional titles
- 17 Mid-Suburban League division titles
- 9 MSL titles
- 674 career wins
Doing the math: 674 wins in 29 years is an average of 23 wins per year.
I knew Coach Dineen a little bit in high school, back in the mid-70s, though he was not yet the girls coach. Couldn’t be a nicer guy. And quite obviously, and more important, an excellent coach and leader of young people. I’ve watched his teams play quite a few times over the last few years, and follow them in the paper when I can.
They are always fundamentally sound, and play smart, team ball; I’d find it hard not to root for them, even if we weren’t from the same high school. 😉
Unfortunately, the school district (District 214) has a rule against coaches without teaching positions. And so, in an example of rules trumping common sense, they suddenly have little use for him, even though he still wants to coach.
It seems to me that a school district should have a compelling interest in keeping uber-qualified leaders of young people in-district. Leaders like Tom Dineen.
Good coaches teach life lessons along with the sport itself, like what it means to play on a team, and the value of short-term sacrifice in pursuit of long-term goals.
For a young adult, these life lessons can be — and usually are — much more important to their long-term success in life than whatever educational tidbits they picked up in high school.
Dollars to doughnuts this decision is driven by either (a) union rules or (b) lawyers afraid of lawsuits. Or both.
2/22/08 UPDATE: Since this is probably Coach Dineen’s final state tournament run, at least with BG, I’ll track the results here.
Thursday 2/21: Buffalo Grove defeated Wheeling 45-43 to win the Mundelein Sectional title. The article describes an epic battle, with 2400 people in the gym, and a big lead for BG before Wheeling stormed back to tie it at 36 with just a couple minutes to go. But Buffalo Grove made their foul shots in the last 30 seconds – 4 for 4 – and held on.
Buffalo Grove and Coach Dineen move on to face St. Charles North in the Elgin super-sectional, on Monday, for the right to go downstate next weekend.
Monday 2/25: Leading 43-37 with 2:20 to go, BG went into a four corner offense and converted 7 free throws to seal the victory. Final: Buffalo Grove 50, St. Charles N. 39. On to the state semifinals on Friday, at Illinois State University in Normal. Opponent: Whitney Young, who beat Maine South 49-32.