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LRSC's Duane Schwab honored

By   NDAP
06/24/2014

The North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association selected six veteran coaches to receive its Special Achievement Award. Hank Biesiot, Ryam Brantl, Fred Fridley, Brad Sandy, Duane Schwab and Len Stanley were chosen in 2014 for the honor.

After a long career as a basketball coach, including the past 25 seasons as head women's coach at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, Schwab retired from coaching after this past season.

His last game on the sidelines was when the Lady Royals were eliminated in March at this past season's junior college national tournament. It was the Lady Royals' ninth appearance at nationals under Schwab's leadership.

In his 25 seasons with the program, Schwab compiled a 572-243 record.

Schwab has a two-word answer for the main reason for his success.

"Good players," he said.

He won with a lot of local talent. He's had several Devils Lake High School players on his rosters. But the biggest talent source came from the North Dakota Class B high school ranks.

"We tried to stay local as much as we could, and girls basketball in North Dakota has been pretty darn good," Schwab said. 
"We were always finding good athletes. We recruited Class B pretty heavily.

"They were always good offensive players. They could shoot and handle the ball. We had to teach them how to play defense and be good all-around players. That was fun. I enjoyed the teaching part of the game. And you could see how hungry those small-town kids were to play college basketball."

There was more to basketball than just winning, though.

"We never in my 25 years of coaching here lost a kid due to academic ineligibility," Schwab said.

Prior to landing the Lake Region women's basketball coaching position, Schwab - who played two seasons of baseball and basketball at Lake Region - had coached in the Class B prep ranks. He led Lakota to the 1975 and 1976 Class B boys state basketball tournaments.