Seattle area radio personality Dori Monson, who hosts the Dori Monson Show on KIRO-FM, has taken over the Shorecrest girls basketball team this season after the departure of Ed Wissing.
Shoreline Patch sat down with Coach Monson to find out his hopes for this season, where he gained a passion for coaching and his long term goals for the Shorecrest girls basketball program.
With all of the responsibilities you have through your various radio contributions, what made you decide to enter coaching?
"What got me in was my own kids. I've got three girls, I started coaching them at a real young age. My oldest daughter played on a team of girls that was really competitive at the select level, (they are now college juniors) so that kind of gave me the bug," said Monson.
During that time, Monson also founded and coached another select girls basketball team known as the Rattlesnakes, where he coached many of the juniors on this year's Shorecrest girls team.
"While I was coaching them I coached a group that includes our core group of juniors here at Shorecrest. We played select ball and when they went on to high school I was really interested in staying with this group and it's been a real joy staying with these girls for so long," Monson said.
With many professional obligations and a constant spot in the public spotlight around Seattle, Monson relishes the opportunity to shift the focus away from himself and onto his student-athletes.
"Coaching in general, the thing that's most rewarding is feeling like you're doing something that has an impact on kids lives. They care so passionately about basketball and if I can use basketball as a vehicle to teach life lessons, I think that's a really cool thing to do," said the coach.
"With this group, I've seen how long and how hard they've worked to get here. They've been dreaming about this for a long time."
What allowed Shorecrest to finally get to the State Tournament last year in girls basketball after so many years of frustration?
"It was a real breakthrough for us. We had a swagger last year, it was a team of mostly sophomores and they just had an attitude," said Monson, who assisted under Ed Wissing before taking over the head position during the past offseason.
This year, the Scots are hoping to find some of last season's magic after a tough start.
"We've had a little trouble with injuries this year and we haven't quite recaptured that but I think we'll be fine as the year goes on," Monson said.
What are some of the goals you have for the girls both on the court as well as away from basketball?
"On the court, we want to just build for success for the long haul and part of that is what we're doing off the court. I'm trying to get a feeder program established, which we've never had at Shorecrest," Monson said.
"I just see the teams that are consistently good and they just seem to develop the younger kids so we're trying to do that. I'm trying to reach out to the younger kids in the district so they feel more invested in the program."
Monson brings a diverse set of experiences to the Shorecrest sidelines, having worked with professional athletes and some of the more notable broadcasting personalities in the area.
Showing his players how they to can go about achieving on a high level, regardless of their profession, is what Monson takes the most pride in.
"Goal setting is a huge part of my life and it's a huge part of what we do as a team and I'm trying to teach the girls about the importance of setting goals as a driving force in their life well beyond basketball."
While his own daughters are what brought him into coaching, the relationships he has formed with the girls on his teams has made Monson realize this is something he wants to remain a part of, even after his own daughters have moved on.
"I'm in this for the long haul and I've been with this group but after they move on I want to have a program that's built for success."
Where does your passion for sports come from?
"I started off in sports, before I got into news talk I was a sports producer at King 5, did a lot of play-by-play and I thought I wanted to go in that direction," remembers Monson.
Even after broadening his news career and moving outside of strictly sports, keeping that connection remains important for Monson.
"With my Seahawks work I can stay involved on the sports end and where my passion comes from; I get passionate about anything that evokes such emotion from the participants and the spectators," he said.