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Walsten announced as new Rosemount basketball head coach

Lance Walsten was announced as the new head basketball coach at Rosemount High School last week in a release sent out by athletic director Michael Manning. He spent the last three years as the head boys basketball coach in Faribault while teaching at McGuire Junior High in Lakeville.

On top of being named the new boys basketball coach, Walsten was also hired on as a social studies teacher at RHS, which was part of the draw of the situation.

"I'm from Lakeville originally and I've been teaching in the Lakeville school district for the last 12 years, and I live in this area, so connecting those pieces of teaching, coaching and living in the same community was really appealing to me," Walsten said.

Walsten said that his experience coaching in the Big Nine at Faribault will translate to coaching in the South Suburban Conference against some of the state's best teams.

"It (Faribault) has been a good opportunity for me to learn and develop a program," he explained. "Learning what is going to be successful. The Big Nine presented a lot of challenges for a school like Faribault, being a smaller school in the conference, being a 3A school playing 4A teams. When you have that situation, you have to bring a workman-like mentality of being able to catch up with some of those other teams and just learning about the players, getting them to play hard and play the right way."

Walsten also said that he will bring a defensive mentality to Rosemount.

"A big part is just the mentality of playing hard-nosed basketball, that's the style that I'd say I played while at Lakeville," Walsten said. "To me it always starts on the defensive end, you've got to be able to control that end of the floor. You can't always control whether shots go in or out, but you can control the effort and energy you play with on the defensive end. To me that's probably the M.O. for my teams, that they play great defense. When I took over at Faribault, we were one of the worst defensive teams in the state and then the last three years we really improved, and by the end our points-against average was one of the lowest in all of 3A. That's what I hope to bring to Rosemount."

Right now, still months away from the season, Walsten said that his goal is for the team to be competitive.

"The biggest goal that I have is that we make sure we are competitive each and every game," he said. "I think a lot of people look at wins and losses and what's going to happen with that. When you have a situation where you lose a couple of Division I players from the year before, that's going to be a big transition where you might not have as much experience coming back. But that doesn't impact anything in terms of the level of effort or the desire to be competitive on a night-in and night-out basis. For me, learning the players, learning what their strengths and their skills are, and then just making sure that it's a competitive program as well as a fun experience. Basketball is supposed to be fun, I think it's the greatest sport there is, the fun part is regardless of wins or losses you're able to do something that you enjoy and loving doing."

Walsten graduated from Lakeville High School where he played for John Oxton. He then went on to play basketball at St. Mary's University in Winona for four years. After graduation he began teaching at McGuire Junior High and was an assistant for his old coach at Lakeville, which included a state title in 2013. He has spent the last three years as the head boys basketball coach in Faribault.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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