New Coach Leads Hardwood Horns

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The new look of the Payson Longhorns could be the run-and-gun offense of the Phoenix Suns coupled with the hard-nosed man-to-man defense of the Detroit Pistons.

Those are the styles newly appointed boys basketball coach Scott Dean said he'll be teaching his charges during the off season and once the campaign tips off Oct. 31.

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Newly appointed Payson High School boys basketball coach Scott Dean and his son, Carter, were in the Rim country this week readying themselves for their move from Oregon. In Dean's first outing as coach, his teams were undefeated in the Round Valley Invitational.

Dean, 51, was recently named the head coach of the Longhorns replacing Mike Loutzenheiser who resigned at the conclusion of last season.

Dean arrives in Payson as a coach who says he will stress good attitudes, mental toughness, desire, citizenship and determination in his players.

Among those Dean draws inspiration from is legendary Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi. Dean included a Lombardi quote in a playbook he distributed to his players: "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."

"That sums it up, doesn't it," Dean said.

The new coach's job description, he said, might best be summed up in a 1989 quote from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, "My job is not only be a basketball coach, it is to build leadership, student-athletes and good citizens as well as teach life skills to whom I touch."

A 1978 graduate of Brigham Young University, the well traveled Dean has compiled a 224-104 record as a basketball coach and his teams have made 10 state appearances.

His coaching career has included stops in Page, Duncan and Buena in Arizona, and in Oregon, Utah and Nevada.

In addition to coaching basketball at most of those stops, Dean has coached football -- career that spans 27 years.

"Sometimes I've been the head of both sports at the same school," he said. "But basketball is my passion."

In Athena, an AA Oregon school, Dean says his basketball teams strung together three 20-win seasons and his football squads compiled a 48-6 record.

"I've been lucky to have some great kids," he said. "In all, I've had nine 20-win seasons."

Dean left Arizona two years ago to spend a year at South Umpqua High School in Myrtle Creek, Ore., where he was the head basketball coach.

He left Arizona, he said, to compete a retirement option he had in that state.

"I got that done and when I had the chance to come back (to Arizona), I took it," he said.

The new coach received his first opportunity to assess his players in action June 20 and 21 at the Round Valley Invitational Summer Tournament. He and junior varsity coach Kenny Hayes took both A and B teams to the White Mountain fray. The varsity squad finished 8-0 and the B squad was 5-0.

"I saw a hungry group of kids trying to prove themselves," he said. "From what I observed, one of my jobs will be to change their mindset into becoming great defensive players."

For Dean, defense is the key to winning.

"Challenge the ball everywhere, challenge every shot every time," he said. "We want to be non-stop energy."

Dean's teams will play a man-to-man style of defense in which they will try to hold opponents to less than 50 points per game.

"We will have T-shirts that read ‘48.7 ppg' (points per game)," he said. "I've kept records and when my teams have held other teams to that, we've won 98 percent of our games."

Dean's defensive schemes also will include both half and full court presses, double teams and traps.

"Needless to say we will be defensively oriented," he said. "We will give no good looks, ever."

About the only zone the team will play is a match-up with man-to-man techniques.

When the team goes on the offensive, fans can expect an up-tempo, fast-break style of play.

"We will be a transition team," he said. "We will limit turnovers, rebound every shot and give great efforts every trip down court."

Off the court, Dean's expectations are for his players to become role models in the classroom and in the community.

"We want to develop a class act and honor the community with a great and proud tradition," he said. "It will build pride in the school and community."

The new coach admits, however, "it will take time and great effort to build that type of championship mentality. We have to start doing that in the youth leagues and among the middle schoolers."

In addition to coaching basketball at PHS, Dean will serve as an assistant football coach under Jerry Rhoades.

Academically, he will teach resource history.

Throughout the summer, open gym sessions will be 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday in Wilson Dome. High school boys interested in playing basketball next season are welcome to attend.

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