Marshall High School has filled the positions of its boys and girls basketball coaches vacancies. Dan Denniston will return to the sidelines as boys coach, while Doug Pickarts has been hired as the new girls coach.

The hires were announced in a press release from Marshall Athletic Director Matt Kleinheinz on Friday, June 7.

Denniston has been re-hired as head boys basketball coach at Marshall High School.

Denniston, a Physical Education teacher at MHS the last 16 years, previously coached the Cardinals from 2003-2007. During that time he compiled a record of 66-27 and led the program to three Capitol South Conference championships two WIAA Regional titles.

“I am excited to lead the boys basketball program once again and I look forward to working with all the boys in the program,” Denniston said in a press release. “I can’t wait to get started helping our players reach their individual potential, but more importantly, our potential as a team. We have a strong basketball tradition at Marshall and a strong returning group of kids.

The Cardinals return two second-team all-conference players in senior Tyler Chadwick and sophomore Craig Ward.

“With other talented players around them, I would expect us to take the next step in a progression next year.”

Also returning in 2019-20 will be sophomores in Reid Truschinski and Cole Denniston, Dan’s son.

Denniston replaces Jason McConnell who stepped down after going 179-110 in 12 seasons, won seven conference championships and led Marshall to the 2011-12 WIAA State Tournament.

Under McConnell last season the Cardinals finished third in the Capitol South with a record of 6-4, and went 15-10 overall.

Pickarts replaces Alex Koeller who in two seasons guided the Cardinals to a 53-3 record that included two Capitol South Conference and back-to-back WIAA Division 3 state championships.

Koeller took a position as assistant coach at Edgewood College.

“I am beyond excited to take over such a solid program,” said Pickarts, who has coached basketball for 29 seasons. “Alex did such a great job here the past two seasons and I am looking forward to building on the foundation that he and the girls started.”

Pickarts previously coached at DeForest and Barneveld. His 452 wins rank 21st among state girls basketball coaches all-time, and his overall record is 452-232.

He added: “There is certainly a very solid corp of returning players, I’m anxious to build on their knowledge and skills while helping us to develop more depth all the way through the program.”

Returning for only their junior seasons are perennial all-conference and All-State players Mia Morel, Anna Lutz and Laura Nickel.

Pickarts led DeForest to four WIAA State Tournaments and Barneveld to one.

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