Bellevue’s Dale Karst, one of the top three boys’ basketball players to come out of Hailey’s Wood River High School, has decided to return as head boys’ basketball coach of Middleton High School. Karst’s first stint as Middleton head coach was from 1997-2004.
Karst, 46, assistant varsity coach to Bruce Logsdon at Middleton last season, has replaced Logsdon as head varsity coach for the 2013-14 season. Logsdon accepted a position in the Boise School District and will coach the Timberline High School boys’ basketball team.
“I’m pretty excited,” said 1985 Wood River High graduate Karst last week about this new assignment at Middleton.
He said, “We have a solid coaching staff and a good core group of players coming through. There’s an excitement and energy. We’ll be more of a perimeter-shooting team, but we’re pretty athletic.”
Karst’s last seven-year stint as Middleton head coach ended with his 2004 Vikings squad that went 24-3 and earned the State 3A runner-up trophy, losing to Preston in the championship game.
Since, Middleton has moved from 3A to the larger 4A classification of Idaho prep sports. The last state tournament basketball trip for Middleton was five years ago, in 2008.
A physical education and health teacher at Middleton Middle School, Karst has been employed in the Middleton School District since 1997. He has also coached football and track and field. This fall, he is coaching the Middleton freshman football team.
Karst, son of Bill and Elaine Karst, said he played for and learned much from coaches like Dick Richel, Fred Trenkle and Marty Holly during his competitive years from 1983-90 at Wood River High, the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and Caldwell’s College of Idaho.
“I’ve had the opportunity to play for great coaches. I’ve taken different things from different coaches and tried to mold it into my own style,” he said.
Karst, in three seasons as a Wood River point guard measuring in at 5 feet, 11 inches, had a 13.2 ppg scoring average and 66% free throw shooting average in 66 varsity games.
His Wood River teams improved in their records from 7-15, to 13-9 and 16-6.
As a senior, he was named to the A-2 All-State basketball team—the first Wood River player in 11 years to earn that honor. That season, he averaged 16.2 ppg plus 8.1 assists and 5.2 steals per game for coach Richel.
Karst, whose high school career coincided with the start of the 3-point shooting era in 1983-84, remains the third-leading career scorer for Wood River with 872 points and 60 3-pointers—behind Brad Jaques (1,261 points, 18.0 ppg career) and Brian Homer (1,051 points, 14.8 ppg, 113 3-pointers).
He went on to play for legendary CSI coach Trenkle during the golden years of the Golden Eagles. From 1984-92, Trenkle’s CSI teams set a national collegiate record of 137 consecutive home-court wins
In his final CSI season and in his final home game, Karst scored a college career-best 23 points as the Golden Eagles finished 16-0 at home—the 63rd straight home win or about halfway through the record-setting streak.
Karst played an integral role on Trenkle’s 1986-87 CSI squad that won the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament championship with a school-record 37-1 mark. In Karst’s sophomore year at CSI, the Golden Eagles followed that up with a 31-4 record.
He took his scoring touch and defensive leadership to the College of Idaho, where coach Holly’s Coyotes (24-8) placed seventh in the NAIA national tournament in 1989. Karst hit two jumpers at the buzzers to beat teams and help the Coyotes make the final eight at the national tournament.
Karst retains a place on the College of Idaho career scoring sheet with a .461 3-point field goal percentage in his senior year of 1989-90.
At the time, coach Holly said about Karst, “Dale is the ultimate winner. If we had five Dale Karsts, we’d have very few losses. He works just as hard in practices as he does in games.”
Karst has three children—Nicole, 29, Giovonni, 28 and Mihaela, 16, a Middleton junior who plays volleyball and golf. His grandson Peyton is almost two years old. Dale and his wife Linda live in Caldwell.
He is looking forward to re-establishing his link with Wood River High School when the Middleton, Timberline and Wood River boys have a pre-season jamboree at the end of November, the weekend before Thanksgiving.