You don't have to look too far to find Owatonna connections to the just-completed state high school boys basketball tournament. Listen to the special interviews here.

Several former Owatonna High School boys basketball players are now in the coaching ranks. Three were assistant coaches on teams at the state tournament. Mike Nolan and Greg Olson both played for hall of fame coach Len Olson. Kyle Melcher played for current Huskies coach Josh Williams.

Nolan is a 1988 Owatonna graduate and has been an assistant with Lakeville / Lakeville North for nearly 20 years. He has great memories of his prep playing days. The Panthers were the defending state champs, but lost in the semifinals to Olson's Apple Valley Eagles.



Olson graduated in 1994 and hopes to follow in the steps of his father and become a head coach someday. He's been on the Apple Valley staff for several years. The Eagles have won two of the last three state 4A titles, and did it this year without a senior in the starting lineup. Olson remembers being involved in basketball from a very early age.



Melcher graduated in 2009 and played football and some basketball at Winona State. He was student teaching at Mankato Loyola when an opportunity to work with the Mankato East program came along. The Cougars qualified for state with a pair of upset wins in the playoffs and after finishing fourth in the Big Nine Conference standings. Melcher is hoping to find a full-time teaching job and would like to continue coaching.



This year also marks the 25th anniversary of Owatonna's 1990 state championship season. Their team picture is featured in the tournament program. Mark Randall, who was part on that team and is the current Owatonna High School principal, had a rooting interest in the 4A championship game, as his nephew was a top reserve for Champlin Park. They also lost to Olson's Eagles team.