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Eyeing Glory

Press Photo by Chris Aarhus Dickinson Trinity coach Gregg Grinsteinner is sitting at 298 career wins.

Fifteen years ago, a young Gregg Grinsteinner took over as head boys basketball coach at Dickinson Trinity High School.

Since then, Grinsteinner has embarked on a journey that has featured far more wins than losses.

The Titans play at Killdeer at 7 p.m. tonight in a District 14 contest and in that game, Grinsteinner is going for win No. 299. A win over rival Killdeer would set up Grinsteinner going for his 300th victory when Trinity hosts Beulah at 7 p.m. Friday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

Though Grinsteinner is close to achieving a significant milestone in the coaching world, he has his sights set on what he feels is more important - getting ready for the postseason.

"Some day when I retire, I'll look back on it," Grinsteinner said. "Right now, it's more about getting ready for the tournament coming up. Everybody always cares. It just matters when."

The Titans were scheduled to play Beulah on Tuesday at home, but bad weather forced a postponement. Grinsteinner picked up No. 298 last Saturday when the Titans topped Williston Trinity Christian.

Assistant coach Randy Gordon has been with Grinsteinner for 12 of his 15 years and spends a lot of time around him. In football, Gordon is the head coach and Grinsteinner is the offensive coordinator. Gordon said the way Grinsteinner applies his knowledge in practice has led to a remarkable coaching career.

"His ability to teach the game and him teaching game situations ..." Gordon said. "He teaches the game well and knows the game well."

To get 300 wins in 15 years, a coach has to average 20 wins a season. Hazen boys basketball coach Randy Johnson said that alone says something about Grinsteinner's ability.

"That's a statement in itself," Johnson said. " ... I believe he builds his teams around their defensive intensity. They're usually very strong, defensively."

Though Grinsteinner never mentioned how long he'd like to coach, he did admit one thing: "The longer you're in the game, the less you know and the harder you have to work at it. I do a lot more listening now than I used to. You don't know it all anymore."

Grinsteinner credited his assistant coaches for his success.

"The one thing we have is continuity," Grinsteinner said. "A lot of it comes down to assistants. We've got people who work well together. We're fortunate that way."

Whether it comes this week or not, Gordon said he knows Grinsteinner won't be bringing it up in conversations anytime soon.

"I'm sure he's going to be humble about it," Grinsteinner said. "To get it as quick as he did at that pace, that is a tribute."

Johnson made note of the quality of Grinsteinner's character.

"He has strong (coaching) ethics," Johnson said. "Everything you'd want in an individual for a program, Gregg portrays."