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Published December 05, 2012, 09:35 PM

New coach makes high expectations even higher for Fergus Falls girls basketball

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - If there's one team to keep an eye this winter, it's the Fergus Falls girls basketball team, ranking second in the state after a third place finish at state last season and the scary thing, they might be even better this year now with longtime Pelican Rapids coach Brad Strand now in charge.

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - If there's one team to keep an eye this winter, it's the Fergus Falls girls basketball team, ranking second in the state after a third place finish at state last season and the scary thing, they might be even better this year now with longtime Pelican Rapids coach Brad Strand now in charge.

In 22 years as a boys basketball coach in the area, Brad Strand won twice as many games as he lost. Strand maintained the Vikings as one of the area's premier boys' programs for the past 16 years. But this summer, the man with the familiar "flat top" haircut couldn't pass up the chance to coach his daughter at the varsity level, and landed the head coaching job at Fergus Falls, a team that, by the way, went 30-and-2 last year.

Brad Strand, 391-190 Career Record: “I knew I was stepping into a great situation, for me and my daughter as well.”

Bailey Strand, Fergus Falls Jr. Guard: “It's really nice. I like having my dad as a coach, too. It's pretty natural and really fun.”

Fergus Falls returned three standout players from a team that took third at state. Add Strand's daughter, Bailey, who just eclipsed 1,000 points three games into her junior season, and you have all the makings of an Otter squad that could be even better than last year.

Brianna Rasmusson, Fergus Falls Jr. Guard: “I definitely think it made us work harder this summer and prove ourselves to him. He really pushes us to do our best.”

Brad Strand: “I've been demanding and they've exceeded my expectations with their work ethic. You'd never know they won 30 games, not living in last year. It's all about now. They want to get better. That's the goal.”

With three daughters, Strand has coached girls before, just not on the varsity level. He also coached a couple of his new players in summer ball when they were in junior high. And he says he's really made only one change in his routine now that he's coaching girls.

Brad Strand: “It's a slower, more laid back warm up for practice. More social time, let them talk a bit, to ease into practice.”

With a talented, motivated, hard working group of players and one of the top coaches in the area, only two words are needed if you're trying to beat the Otters this season: Good Luck.

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