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WDC head basketball coach steps down

Tom VanErp

The Wadena-Deer Creek boys' basketball team suffered a major blow Dec. 21 when WDC Head Boys' basketball Coach Tom VanErp resigned after holding his position for three years. He will continue to teach health and physical education in the WDC school district. Assistant Coach Doug Haas has been named interim head coach of the boys' basketball program.

Phone calls made by the Pioneer Journal to a number believed to belong to VanErp were not returned this week. The news of his resignation follows an internal investigation at the WDC Middle/High School regarding an inappropriate photo of VanErp that five girls allegedly discovered on his school-owned iPad.

VanErp handled both the head football and head boys' basketball coaching duties at WDC before turning the football job over to Howie Kangas last summer.

"You don't have a change in coaches during the season very often, but I think the team is in very capable hands," WDC Activities Director Norm Gallant said.

Haas joined the program this year. He will be assisted by John Paulson. Haas is also a health and physical education instructor.

Gallant noted that, during his first months at WDC, Haas has forged good relationships with students and players.

"Ninety percent of coaching is the relationships you have with kids," Gallant said. "He's young and he's very enthusiastic."