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Dan McKiernan returns to assist son-in-law at Rampart

By: Kevin Carmody, The Gazette
August 2, 2014
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Dan McKiernan, left, accepted congratulations after getting his 600th win while serving as head coach at Doherty in this 2010. McKiernan resigned as assistant at Rampart on Sunday. KEVIN KRECK, THE GAZETTE

It took a while, but Dan McKiernan, a state and city Hall of Fame basketball coach, and his son-in-law, J’on St. Clair, are back on the same team again.

McKiernan, who won 610 games in 48 seasons as a head coach and led Palmer to two 5A state championships (1993 and 2000), announced on Facebook on Friday that he had accepted an offer to assist St. Clair on the Rampart boys’ basketball staff.

St. Clair recently returned to Rampart as coach after leading Cheyenne Mountain to the 4A state semifinals last season. He previously led the Rams for six seasons before one leading the Doherty girls (2010-11) and three rebuilding the boys’ program at Cheyenne Mountain (2011-14).

“He’s proven he can be successful anywhere he goes,” McKiernan said from his home Friday night. “I want to do a good job and be the best assistant I can be. It’s an honor, and you can always learn stuff.”

McKiernan, 73, last coached in 2011 at Doherty, where he spent his last six seasons. He previously coached at Rampart (2003-04) and Palmer (1972-2003).

The two found each other on opposite sides in 2010, when the McKiernan-led Doherty boys team rallied past Rampart in a 5A quarterfinal playoff game at the Denver Coliseum. Much earlier, St. Clair served as an assistant coach at Palmer under McKiernan when the Terrors won it all in 2000.

“Now, we’re on the same side again,” McKiernan said.

McKiernan said his main roles as assistant will be to implement his 1-3-1 defense and work with Rampart’s post players.

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