Conte finds right fit at Trinity

May. 13, 2013 @ 10:28 PM

Dana Conte always figured he would return to coaching.

He just didn’t know when.

That was answered when he interviewed for the varsity head girls basketball post at Trinity High School.

“I had interviewed a few times each offseason, just to keep my hat in the ring,” said Conte, who stepped down as T.W. Andrews girls head coach in 2006 following a successful six-year stint. “But I hadn’t been seriously pursuing a coaching job.”

Conte and his wife, Maggie, have children ages 8, 7 and 2. He resigned from Andrews in ‘06 to devote more time to his growing family.

“My last year at Andrews, I looked up in the bleachers (during a game) and saw Maggie holding our baby,” Conte recalled. “She was pregnant with our second child at the time and it hit me. I can’t miss this. This family time is irreplaceable.”

So Conte, the director of corporate donations for Goodwill Industries, hung up the whistle and clipboard — for awhile.

Once he applied for the Trinity position, he realized it was time to rejoin the coaching ranks.

“When I interviewed with Mr. Phillips (Trinity principal Brad Phillips), everything clicked,” Conte said. “I knew it was the place for me. Trinity has a great basketball tradition. Coach (Tim) Kelly has built a fantastic boys program and it’s a tremendous community with wonderful people. I’m excited about this opportunity.”

Conte is no stranger to the hardwood. He started as a junior varsity boys assistant coach at Asheboro in the early 1990s, then served as a jayvee boys assistant at Andrews in the mid-90s before taking the girls varsity head coaching position at Wesleyan Christian Academy for three seasons.

The shift to girls basketball coincided with Conte and Kenny Carter co-founding the Hoops and Dreams program in 1996.

Conte held the girls varsity head coaching job at Andrews from 2001-2006.

In addition, Conte boasts a stellar coaching resume in the AAU ranks. His teams posted second-place finishes in the AAU National Invitational Tournament in 1997 and ‘98 and took third place in that event in 2001.

“Mr. Phillips and I are extremely excited about this addition to our program,” Trinity assistant principal and athletic director Luke Brown said. “We believe that Coach Conte is a perfect fit. His vision for our students reaches past their participation in high school athletics. With his extensive coaching background, we know our program will be in good hands.”

Conte, who worked as a certified official in girls volleyball and lacrosse during his time away from the bench, can’t wait to get rolling.

“I like to make opposing teams uncomfortable on offense and defense,” Conte said of his coaching philosophy. “I want my teams to play antagonistic. Whether that’s half-court, three-quarter court or full-court pressure on defense can vary depending on personnel. We like to push the tempo on offense.

“It’s hard to say specifically what we hope to do until I see the girls in practice and find out what groceries I have in the kitchen, so to speak.”

Conte will get that chance soon enough. The start of prep basketball season is less than six months away.