Tigers’ coach Christenson resigns after successful run

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


MARK CHRISTENSON, shown celebrating with his Howards Grove basketball team after winning a regional title last year, resigned as the Tigers’ coach after three seasons in which he compiled a 50-24 record. — Review file photo MARK CHRISTENSON, shown celebrating with his Howards Grove basketball team after winning a regional title last year, resigned as the Tigers’ coach after three seasons in which he compiled a 50-24 record. — Review file photo HOWARDS GROVE — For longtime boys basketball coach Mark Christenson, it was always about his players.

Christenson resigned Monday as the Howards Grove Tigers’ head coach after a successful three seasons at the helm, including a berth in the sectional finals last year. The Tigers were 16-8 this past season and tied for third in the Central Lakeshore at 11-5.

“I have enjoyed my years at Howards Grove and would like to thank all who offered support to the basketball program,” he said.

“I am looking forward to spending more time with family, many miles of biking, many rounds of golf and maybe some warm weather in the winter.

“My memories revolve around the players. It was exciting to see them go through their high school careers and go off to school [college] and then start families and careers,” Christenson said.

“It’s fun to keep in touch with them.”

He compiled an overall record of 50-24 at Howards, including a 35-15 mark in the tough CLC. During the 2011-12 campaign, the Tigers advanced to the sectional tournament for the first time since 1993 when Howards made its only trip to state. The Tigers, who finished 20-6 last season, fell to eventual state champion Whitefish Bay Dominican in the Division 4 sectional finals.

In his first season at Howards, the team finished fourth in the CLC at 12-6 (14-10 overall). Last year, the Tigers placed third in the league at 12-4 and won a regional championship.

Christenson coached high school boys basketball for 43 years, starting with the 1970-71 season when he was an assistant at Cedarburg. He then served as an assistant at Oshkosh North. Christenson, who had a career coaching record of 474-265, was the head coach at Manitowoc, Waukesha South and Oshkosh North.

He took Manitowoc to the state tournament in 1998 and 1999, and led Oshkosh North to state in 1983.

“Every place I’ve enjoyed coaching. I wouldn’t do anything different. It’s been a lot of fun and very rewarding,” Christenson said.

Christenson said he may return to coaching in the future.

A new Tiger head coach hasn’t been named yet. The Tigers have a bright outlook next season with several key players returning, plus having had strong junior varsity and freshman teams this past season.


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