If you’re a girls basketball fan and a Seattle Seahawks fan, as I am, you must think Dori Monson has two dream jobs.
He thinks so.
And those are on top of his pretty cool gig as an afternoon talk-show host on KIRO Radio.
Monson is also part of the Seahawks Radio Network and hosts the team’s pre- and post-game shows.
All of this in addition to his role as head coach of the Shorecrest girls basketball team.
So imagine what the last couple of weeks have been like. I did, and decided to chat with him about if for this week’s edition of my girls basketball notebook.
“It’s been a blast,” Monson said. “I always say I’m very blessed to have so many jobs that I love. I love the coaching and I love the Seahawks. Balancing the two with my ‘real job,’ the weekday show is kind of crazy at times, but I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to do all of the things that I love.”
Monson joined the Shorecrest girls staff as an assistant coach when Ed Wissing was hired in 2008-09. The two were considered co-head coaches the following season, then Monson took the reins completely in 2010-11.
Monson and his wife have three daughters and he began coaching them in kindergarten and grade school, ultimately starting his own AAU program.
He has been involved with the Seahawks shows since 1996, although he took a break when his daughters were young and returned full bore in 2004. This season took some delicate balancing, especially the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
Monson arrived in New York the Sunday before the game and broadcast from “radio row” in Times Square and missed two of Shorecrest’s games as well as three practices.
“I’m glad I have a great assistant coach, because it was really killing me to be away from the team that week,” Monson said. “But you have to prioritize, and this is the biggest story to hit Seattle in a long, long time.”
That assistant coach is Dean Wiley, a former assistant with the Meadowdale boys and girls programs. Monson brought him on board partially in anticipation of this special Seahawks season. Former assistant Zach Wilde is now in his first season as head girls coach at Mountlake Terrace.
“I was really fortunate to get someone with so much experience,” Monson said of Wiley. “I knew last summer that there was a good chance that the Seahawks were going to go to the Super Bowl and I waited a long time until I found the right assistant coach in case I was going to be gone for a week, so we kind of laid the groundwork for that possibility.”
When the Scots played ninth-ranked Glacier Peak that Wednesday, Jan. 29, Monson said he cut short dinner out with his radio co-workers to get back to the hotel to watch a live stream of the game.
Shorecrest lost that one 66-51.
Monson said he was more confident about the Friday game with Oak Harbor and kept updated with texts. Shorecrest cruised, 65-36.
His players are big Seahawks fans, too, according to Monson, and were excited that he was part of the Big Game. But, as it turned out, they were more envious about the Seahawks celebration he got to share in later that night.
“I think they were more excited I got to see Macklemore after the game on Sunday,” Monson said. “That meant more to them than the Seahawks.”
Shorecrest has been in the thick of the WesCo 3A South Division race with Glacier Peak and No. 7 Mountlake Terrace. Monson was back on the bench for a showdown with the Hawks on Tuesday.
It wouldn’t end as well for the Scots as the Super Bowl did for the Seahawks. Mountlake Terrace won it 61-60 on what Monson called a “miracle shot” – a 3-pointer by Samantha Romanowski with 2.4 seconds remaining.
The Scots (14-5, 9-3) will have settle for the division’s No. 3 seed into Northwest District tournament, which begins Wednesday. They will travel to Ferndale (15-2, 9-2), which finished second in the mixed Northwest Conference behind 1A Lynden Christian (16-3, 11-0).
Shorecrest lost three seniors from last year’s team, including Monson’s youngest daughter, Keggan, and had another key player (Bella Kemp) transfer to Bishop Blanchet. This year’s group is young overall, with two freshman guards starting – Keonna Jones and Jalyn Hizey.
But the team is anchored by 5-10 senior Onyie Chibuogwa, a great leaper who plays more like she’s 6-2.
“I would take her over any post player in the league,” Monson said. “She is really a fantastic athlete and kid.”
He believes the team could make a strong post-season run.
“We’ve progressed really nicely,” he said. “I’m expecting big things in the post-season from us.”
And Monson expects to keep his coaching gig, even though the Seahawks are expected make another Super Bowl run next season.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “I love it. We’ll just keep the juggling act going again next year if we get another magical Seahawk run.”