Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | May 24, 2018

Mick Flattery returns to coach Fairfield boys’ basketball

Coached boys from 1989-2008, including three state tourney berths
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Jun 30, 2017

After a 10-year hiatus, Mick Flattery will return to coach the Fairfield High School varsity boys’ basketball team.

Flattery has been the girls’ varsity coach the past six years, leading the team to an 80-32 record and two conference titles.

In May, Trojans boys’ basketball coach Tyler Miklo announced he and his family were moving to Johnston. Athletes and parents approached Flattery to ask if he would rejoin the program he led for 19 years. The answer was yes.

“I’ve had a good rapport with the boys in the program and the coaching staff,” Flattery said. “I’ve gotten to know them not just because I teach middle school but also because I coach seventh-grade football and varsity golf. I know them really well, and I’ve had meetings with many of them. I’m trying to get them to recruit.”

Flattery has been a fixture in the district’s athletic department ever since he moved here in 1989. He began coaching boys’ basketball that same year and did not step down until almost two decades later. The boys made it to the state tournament in 1995, in 2005 when they took fourth place and most recently in 2008, Flattery’s last season with the team.

For the next few years, Flattery coached middle school football and basketball, spending his winters watching his daughter Meredith play basketball at Wartburg College. In 2011, the girls’ varsity basketball job came open. Flattery’s daughter Mackenzie was in eighth-grade at the time, and he thought about how much fun he would have coaching his daughter during her high school career.

“Coaching my daughter was really special,” said Flattery. “I totally enjoyed my years with the girls. We had a lot of great basketball players during that time, and knocked on the door of the state tournament a few times.”

Flattery said he believes there is every reason to think the girls will continue their winnings ways in his absence, provided all of them return to the team.

Flattery has spoken to assistant boys’ basketball coaches Joe Kruzich and Glenn Perkins, who plan to continue in their roles this coming season. He’s working with them to establish a practice schedule and set up a few scrimmages.

During the summer, Flattery has asked the players to work on shooting, and then he wants them to play in three-on-three and later five-on-five scrimmages. A few members of the basketball team, such as Dante Cingire, Carson Crile and Collin Breen play in a summer league in Pella. Many of them are playing baseball now, and still others are preparing for football.

“I’m a real proponent of students playing more than one sport,” Flattery said. “I love it when kids play two to three other sports and are good at them. For schools our size, we need kids playing multiple sports.”

Flattery is heartened by the excitement of the returning players. He said Fairfield is getting closer to putting together a winning season, something it hasn’t done since 2008.

“We’ve got the makeup and chemistry to get over that hump and have a winning season,” he said. “The next goal will be to challenge for conference, which won’t be easy with Mt. Pleasant in the way.”

The Trojans have relied on underclassmen to produce the past couple of years, and that means many returners bring with them a varsity letter. Apart from the aforementioned Cingire, Breen and Crile, the Trojans return Austin Simpson, Tristin Waugh, Mark Diers and Hunter and Cooper Drish, just to name a few.

“Many of them are good at other sports like football or baseball,” Flattery said. “They have leadership skills, and each one has individual nuances they’re good at.”

Flattery said he will employ a bit different style of play than the one the boys are used to.

“I’m an up-tempo guy who believes in a pressure defense and playing a lot of kids,” he said. “I’m can’t wait till November.”

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