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A new opportunity: Dickinson High names Barman its girls basketball head coach

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Alysia Barman, middle, sits between her assistant coaches as she watches the Dickinson Trinity girls basketball team play Beach on Jan. 16 at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. Barman, who was the head coach of the Titans for the last nine seasons, has accepted the head coaching job at Dickinson High.

Alysia Barman is moving five blocks west.

The girls basketball coach has accepted the position as the head coach of the Dickinson High after nine seasons at Dickinson Trinity.

Barman said it wasn’t an easy decision to leave Trinity, however, she is excited for the opportunity to coach high school basketball at the highest level in North Dakota.

“In the coaching world, it’s a step up and go from Class B to Class A,” said Barman, who started as Trinity’s head coach when she was 23 years old. “I thought it was a good time to accept and take on a new challenge.”

The spot at Dickinson High was vacated when Dan Pender resigned at the end of the 2013-14 season. The Midgets finished 5-17 overall and 2-14 in the West Region. Dickinson won its West Region Tournament play-in game against Williston, but lost its next two games against Bismarck High and Mandan.

Barman helped lead the Titans to their second straight runner-up finish in the Region 7 championship game against Beach on March 13. Trinity ended its season with a 19-5 record.

In the nine seasons with the Titans, Barman finished with a 157-56 record and was named Region 7 Coach of the Year four times. She reached the state tournament in her first year with Trinity in 2006 when the Titans placed sixth at the state tournament.

“I give a lot of credit to my current players, especially last year’s group of seniors,” Barman said. “They raised the bar of excellence. The group Trinity has returning next year will continue to raise that bar. I feel very confident in the direction that program is going. I feel confident those girls will experience great success.”

Barman said she’s learned many lessons from former Ken Keller, Gregg Grinsteinner, Craig Kovash and Randy Gordon.

“I don’t think that a lot of young coaches have an opportunity to be able to go to and have mentors of such high caliber,” Barman said. “I have to give them so much appreciation. Over my nine years as a head coach, I could go to them on any situation — Xs and Os, philosophy and different things like that. All four of those men have greatly impacted on how I’ve grown over the last nine years. I’m truly thankful that I was provided with such great mentorship from those four.”

Trinity activities director Andrew DesRosier said it’s always tough to replace a high-quality coach. The Titans haven’t named a replacement for Barman.

“It’s never easy to lose good people,” he said. “That’s never an easy thing to go through. I asked her if she’s confident this is the best decision for her and she was confident this was the best decision. We wish her the best.”

In addition to the coaching responsibilities, Barman will be a social studies teacher at the high school. Barman is also bringing longtime assistant coach Erin Wanner with her to Dickinson High.

Dickinson High athletic director Guy Fridley said he’s excited to have Barman be the newest girls basketball coach.

“I had a great opportunity to watch when I was at South Heart for three years,” he said. “I also had a great opportunity to watch her at the (Region 7 girls basketball tournament) this year. The one thing that comes out and it’s pretty evident right away is how hard her team works and how organized they are.

“Her record speaks for itself. She had a great record at Trinity and we look forward to her starting at Dickinson High next season.”