By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Monday night, Drake made an upset bid at Williams Arena against the University of Minnesota basketball team.

It would have been quite a homecoming for two coaches. Niko Medved was a student manager for Clem Haskins. He’s now the head coach.

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Dave Thorson left after dominating at DeLaSalle high school to be his assistant.

It’s a new game for Niko Medved. He’s on his second Division I job, trying to jump start Drake.

“I think it’s staying true to yourself and knowing what works for you. For me, it’s been we want kids who value education,” Medved said. “Drake is a phenomenal degree.”

The last time we saw Dave Thorson, he was leading DeLaSalle to another state high school championship. But when his old coaching colleague called, he answered, leaving a legacy for a new challenge.

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“I miss the kids. I miss the people. The DeLaSalle community was awesome but working with Niko is great too,” Thorson said. “As I said, to get paid to be a basketball coach 24 hours a day, it’s been phenomenal for me.”

What he sees is an opportunity to do something different, something special.

“I think it’s establish the culture of the program and Niko is such a great leader in terms of his vision, his understanding of what it takes,” Thorson said. “He’s been in these rebuilding situations.”

So the coach’s life continues, and this past season, moving from Furman to Drake, is one for the books for several reasons.

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“This year in particular has been crazy. The three biggest life-changers are having a baby, moving and changing jobs. I did them all in two weeks and I’m still married.”

Mike Max