Esko’s former basketball star Kory Deadrick who recently spent a season as Proctor’s head coach and another as Duluth Denfeld’s assistant head has been announced as Superior’s new coach. .
“I am very excited to have this opportunity,” said Deadrick. “It has been a dream and a passion for me to be a head coach. I’m very lucky to have another chance and make the most of it. “
Deadrick, 25, who played at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul before moving to Sainte-Scolastique to end his college career, was 9-19 at Proctor before resigning due to conflicts with the school administration. He spent this last season training Denfeld under Mike Devney, his high school coach at Esko.
Devney, who won a Class AA state title with Deadrick at Esko in 2014 and took the Eskomos to six state tournaments, quietly announced his retirement earlier this spring after 27 seasons and 519 wins at Carlton, Esko and Denfeld. He coached Carlton to a Class A finalist in 1998.
“It was about time,” Devney said. “It will be a process between Denfeld and Lincoln (Park Middle School) to make a difference. I’m going to be 64 this year and it’s time for someone younger with more energy to step in. There is potential there.
This youthful energy describes 25-year-old Deadrick.
“We saw in Kory her passion and drive,” said Ella Olson, Superior’s business manager. “His energy was very apparent and he had been eager to start since we spoke to him. It’s nice to feel his energy and his passion for the game. “
Olson, a former Minnesota Duluth basketball player and assistant coach under Deadrick’s aunt, Stacy, in St. Scholastica, had no qualms about hiring Deadrick despite his brief stint at Proctor.
“There was no hesitation,” she said. “He was very candid about all of his past experiences. He came very prepared (to his interview) with a lot of good materials, situations and recommendations too. He was not hiding anything and was very open about his past. It’s very positive to hear how much he wants to be in the gym with these kids.
Likewise, Deadrick is happy to be working alongside someone with as much basketball acumen as Olson.
“She has a basketball mind… and is very open to change and listening to coaches’ ideas,” Deadrick said. “I think a lot of good sporting things are going to happen at Superior with her in charge.”
The Spartans went 8-9 in 2021, a season shortened due to COVID-19. Jake Smith later resigned, leaving an opening at a school that has produced several quality players in recent years.
“I always thought Superior had great basketball skills,” said Deadrick, Edward Jones’ financial advisor for the past three plus years. “In the last 10 or 15 years, they’ve had a handful of guys at Wisconsin-Superior… and Brandon Myer was one of the best UMD basketball players of all time. They certainly had talent there.
While training longevity is no longer a given in high school, Deadrick expects it to be long enough to develop this talent.
“If we can keep him going through his first five years, he’ll train the rest of his life.” If he burns out in two or three years or turns it off, he’ll never train again, ”Devney said. “I know a lot of kids who ran away with all the pressure and parents.
“I think he was missed at Proctor. I have no idea what happened there, but it took a few years to change the culture. They have a pretty good culture that he can walk right into at Superior.
Devney believes that with the history of training in Deadrick’s family, he will be able to deal with issues that will inevitably arise. His mother, Lynne, coached college volleyball for 30 years, the last 18 of which were at Wisconsin-Superior, and his father, Shane, also has a lot of coaching experience.
“There will always be someone to challenge you who knows more than you, no matter how successful you are,” Devney said. “Parents are the biggest hurdle you’re going to run into because parents always think Johnny is better than Johnny and he’s better than someone else you are playing.”
Deadrick was happy to have been a part of Devney’s swan song on the bench.
“It was great to learn for another year under Mike’s leadership. I have enormous respect for him as a coach and as a person, ”said Deadrick. “It was good for me to press a reset button and go and (be an assistant).
“It’s the same as when I was at Proctor, you have to find things that you are going to stick with and try to train and teach the kids. Superior has a lot of similar values that I have with kids being students before athletes. This is a very important element that I will insist on. It has to start in the classroom. “