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Boys Basketball: Poncelet steps down as Goodhue basketball coach

Goodhue's Tony Poncelet was starting to get spread thin as the head football and boys basketball coach for the Wildcats. So he decided it was time to let someone else take over the boys basketball program, allowing him to focus on football and spend more time with family.

"It's not like I'm burned out at all," Poncelet said. "I used to be activities director, head basketball coach and assistant football coach. I felt like I was average at everything and I didn't want to get that point again. I'd rather be good at a few things than average at everything."

Poncelet said he met with the boys basketball team last week before turning in his letter of resignation.

"I wanted to talk to the players first so they didn't hear it from anybody else," Poncelet said. "It was a tough decision all around, but in the end, I think it's the right one."

This season was Poncelet's 11th as head coach for Goodhue and, while the Wildcats went 12-15, he's confident the program is ready to take off.

"There's some really talented kids coming back," he said. "It was about being able to put the time in that the program needs and we're going to be good. There are some fun days ahead for boys basketball in Goodhue."

He added, "This year was a lot of fun, too. We developed a lot throughout the year and we became a pretty tough team by tournament time."

Poncelet's fondest memories surround the Wildcats' two trips to the Class 1A boys state basketball tournament in 2004 and 2011.

"There's nothing better than taking the court at Williams Arena and the Target Center as a high school coach," said Poncelet, who went 194-116 as head coach.

Finishing the school day at 3:30 p.m. and going home will make work seem like a half day, Poncelet said, but now he will get extra time with his kids, ages 1, 6 and 8.

"My son is in second grade," Poncelet said. "I'll get those kids going on some travel (basketball) next year. I'll be able to grab my other kids and just sit back and watch.

"It was still fun," he added. "Putting a game plan together and having the kids buys into it. It's still a lot of fun to be in the gym every day."

Chris Harrell
Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
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