"We're going to build with Colorado kids"

“We’re going to build with Colorado kids”

Sure, you can go home again, Big Bill Ficke told his son Dan when the younger Ficke asked him what he thought about taking the MSU Denver gig. But you might not be able to afford a home here.

“(My dad) actually tried to convince me not to (take it),” Dan told The Post on Thursday, tongue planted firmly in cheek, after he was introduced as the Roadrunners’ new men’s basketball coach, “because of the real estate market.”

The younger Ficke, who played his high-school ball at Regis Jesuit and later served as an assistant coach at DU, is confident he’ll get the housing thing squared away… and convince local talent to get the Roadrunners, who play at the NCAA’s Division II level, on their radar.

“Jeff Linder, kind of, I think, really revitalized recruiting Colorado,” Ficke said of Linder, the Centaurus alum and former UNC Bears men’s basketball coach who this past winter took Wyoming to its first NCAA tournament in seven years.

“So I think Colorado, maybe it was overlooked for a little while. I think Joe Scott, who I worked for (at DU), he did it with Colorado kids and had a good run of success. There’s good basketball here. I think there’s really good Division II basketball kids here, where they’re right on that cusp.”

Ficke, whose father, Bill, runs Big Bill’s New York Pizza in Centennial and has been a local fixture for roughly five decades as a business owner, former hoops scout, and ex-Nuggets assistant coach, posted a 61-25 record in three seasons as the head coach at Belmont Abbey, a Division II program in Belmont, NC While at Belmont, his Crusaders qualified for the NCAA tourney in each of his three campaigns.

The new MSU coach went to North Carolina following stints as an assistant at DU (2015-19), Wake Forest (2010-13) and Loyola (Md.) (2013-15).


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