New Coach on Court 

Coach Paulson taking over as head girls basketball coach 

Anna Pipinos, Lifestyle Editor

“Coach Paulson is just so smart about the Xs and Os [offense and defense] about basketball. I admire that so much. His outstanding ability to communicate that knowledge to players, combined with his relentless passion for excellence, has me convinced that Coach Paulson is going to do so, so well at MN,” Former girls basketball head coach David Diehl said. 

After training and teaching the girl’s basketball team for 5 years and basketball, in general, for over 16 years, Diehl decided that it was time to step aside and spend more time with his wife and two daughters. 

“I have a 7-year-old and 3-year-old daughter. I found myself, last year, missing them more and more and unable to put my full attention to the basketball program. The players deserve a full-time coach who will be able to give them 110%,” Diehl said.  

With the urgent need for a new coach, math teacher and head JV boys basketball coach Chris Paulson decided to rise to the occasion and take over for Diehl.  Paulson is ready to carry on Diehl’s legacy and coach the varsity group of girls to the best of his ability. 

“My job here is to build off the success Coach Diehl had. He did a tremendous job the last 10 years, and it is now my job to continue to develop and maintain what he has done and maybe even take it a step further,” Paulson said.

Paulson hopes to take what the girls learned from Diehl and build off of that by incorporating what he has learned from previous varsity boys basketball teams he worked with. 

“I believe in the power of positive thinking, and I have had numerous teams over the years that have competed in state tournaments and state championships,” Paulson said. “I want to try and take some of those qualities that my other teams played with there and bring them here to MN’s basketball program.”

Paulson also hopes to not only teach them new ways to play the game but to also teach them about how they can take aspects of the game and incorporate it into their lives outside of school. 

“All of these lessons will not only carry over in our season but into life. I believe that is the bigger picture here; I believe that as coaches we not only have to train them and prepare them for basketball season but for life outside of basketball,” Paulson said. 

Although he has had previous experience working with boys basketball, Paulson believes that working with girls basketball is quite different from boys. He hopes that his experience as a father will aid him during the season.

“There are different things that motivate girls and different things that motivate boys. I have three daughters, and I know some of the things they go through on a daily basis. All the experiences I have had with my daughters are something I can bring to the table, but I am going to have to continue learning on the run,” Paulson said.

From the short amount of time Paulson has been coaching the varsity girls, sophomore Kayla Preston has seen a major shift in the team’s dynamics. 

“A good coach has to hold us accountable and know the game. A coach that cares about their players is important to me, and I have seen these qualities in him. He really has helped with us becoming closer as a team,” Preston said. 

The state championship may be months away, but Paulson hopes to lead the girls to win another state title. 

“Obviously winning a couple of state titles is something that I will remember, especially the excitement and positive energy that brings to the community and to the school. I want nothing more than to do that here and to see the excitement on our girls’ faces when they cut down the nets,” Paulson said.