The Waunakee girls’ basketball team is getting an infusion of youth atop their program.

Following Tom Lesar’s departure as head coach after four years, Waunakee has decided on the new leader for the girls’ program: Marcus Richter.

Though Richter – at 27 years old – is half Lesar’s age, the 2013 Winona State graduate already brings nearly a decade of experience on the sideline to his new position.

“I was a student-assistant with Winona State’s men’s basketball team for three years. Then, I stepped away from that and started coaching – I coached one year of freshman hoops – at Winona Cotter.”

Following a move to the Madison area, Richter found a teaching position at Waunakee and another coaching job, this time as the freshman boys’ coach at Sun Prairie. After four years at Sun Prairie, Richter took Waunakee’s open freshman boys’ coach last season.

Richter takes over a Warrior girls’ varsity squad that returns two of their top four scorers from a season ago, including the team’s leading scorer in junior guard Elena Maier. Both Maier and senior forward Melanie Watson have been named to the Badger North’s All-Conference teams, providing a solid foundation for Waunakee’s new coach.

“Hopefully, we’ll be playing an up-tempo style of basketball with a little bit of full-court pressure…” Richter said on how he envisions utilizing an athletic group. “With the soccer team still playing, I haven’t had all the girls in the gym. From what I have seen, though, it looks like we have some girls who are athletic players.”

While every coach defines success differently, Richter maintained his biggest measure of success lies not solely on the hardwood.

“Obviously, you want to win, but I believe in building players on and off the court,” added Richter. “Teaching them to be successful in the community, teaching them to be successful in the classroom… In the future, I’d like to set the standard that Waunakee sports have been: have a successful program year-in and year-out.”

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