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Denver Christian coach replaces legend at alma mater

7:47 PM, Feb 11, 2013   |    comments
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Dick Katte's 8th state championship was also his last game.

How do you replace Colorado's greatest high school basketball coach? Denver Christian simply turned to Katte's coaching pedigree.

"I played on his very 1st team. Very 1st win he ever had was against Limon, Colorado. I was on that team," said new head coach Ray Van Heukelem.

That 1st win was in the early 1960's. Ray has been coaching pretty much since then, most recently at Littleton High School. Now he returns to his alma mater where he also teaches.

"I need to put aside the pressure. A lot of it is self imposed because I worked with Dick Katte for 32 years and I was his assistant. So I know him very well and I love the man," Van Heukelem told 9NEWS.

"Coach Van is doing a great job. He's put everyone under his wing and it's not easy backing up a legend for sure but he's been doing a good job," Denver Christian senior Alex Terpstra told 9NEWS.

Making things his own could take some time, but he's had a good teacher.

"The man is a legend," said Van Heukelem, "I am so thankful I got to work with him, and now that I'm taking over for him, I feel like I have to do right by him."


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