Paulson named FDLTCC Thunder men’s basketball coachFond du Lac Tribal and Community College announces the hiring of Damien Paulson as head coach of the Thunder men’s basketball program. Paulson will immediately assume the role and begin working to build the program in preparation for the 2011-2012 season.
By: Tom Urbanski, For the Pine Journal, Pine Journal
CLOQUET – Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College announces the hiring of Damien Paulson as head coach of the Thunder men’s basketball program. Paulson will immediately assume the role and begin working to build the program in preparation for the 2011-2012 season.
“It was a difficult decision to leave behind my head coaching position at the new South Ridge High School and all of the years I coached at AlBrook, but coaching the Thunder is a great fit for me and a very different challenge that personally interested me,” said Paulson. Previously, Paulson had been the head boys basketball coach at AlBrook for five years and an assistant for five years. He also coached the baseball program for 15 years at AlBrook.
Coaching the Thunder was attractive to Paulson on several levels: it is a logical step to advance from coaching high school to the collegiate level, and his knowledge of the regional high school basketball programs will be a benefit in recruiting student athletes. His own collegiate playing experience at the University of Minnesota Duluth will provide credibility and understanding of the academic and athletic demands expected of college student athletes.
Paulson will take over the Thunder men’s basketball program that was competitive in games but struggled to find wins during its 2010-2011 season. He inherits a roster with plenty of talent and returning players. His previous coaching experience and contacts within the local basketball community will be excellent assets as he moves the Thunder program forward.
“This is going to be fun,” said Paulson. “I’m stepping into a program that has established a good base in its first few years of existence, there are several quality returning players and a nice group of incoming players who should be solid contributors to the team this season. I’m looking forward to being a part of Thunder basketball. The college has a positive academic and athletic atmosphere that will be fun for all of us.”
Paulson served as the head boys basketball coach at AlBrook High School from 2005 to 2011, and as an assistant from 2000 to 2005. He was the head baseball coach at AlBrook from 1996 to 2011. Paulson had a standout basketball playing career at UMD from 1991-1995, earning All-Conference, Team MVP and team captain honors.
Coming from the high school ranks, Paulson is aware that the high school coaching in and around the area is excellent. He hopes to continue his affiliation with area high school basketball by putting an emphasis on recruiting local players who want to continue playing basketball at the collegiate level.
Paulson grew up in Culver, attended AlBrook High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and currently resides in Duluth. He is married to Jodi and they have two children. Paulson works as an academic advisor and coordinator of college placement testing at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.