When Zack Ange resigned last week to go back to his hometown of Cache to take over the girls basketball program there, Wagoner athletic director Dale Condict knew he didn’t need to look far or long for Ange’s successor as the boys basketball coach.
One call went to Dante Swanson, arguably the greatest Wagoner basketball player in school history, who had spent the last four years on Ange’s staff.
“You can’t find somebody like him that’s from your hometown, so loved and went on to have a successful playing career like he did,” said Condict, who made the announcement on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old Swanson went from Wagoner to the University of Tulsa. He was on Tulsa’s NIT championship team in 2001 and was a Western Athletic Conference All-Defensive selection in 2001 and 2002. He played professionally in Poland with Koszalin, and was named Most Valuable Player in 2010. In 2018, he was inducted into the Wagoner Athletics Hall of Fame.
“When I started helping here I had just gotten off the phone with my agent about an offer to continue playing. I wasn’t real satisfied with it and I was kind of to the point where my kids were ready for me to stay at home,” said Swanson, who in all played 12 seasons in Europe.
His kids include Dante Swanson Jr., who will play as a freshman on his first team, which will also be hit heavy by graduation from a team that reached the area round of the Class 4A playoffs this season.
Condict never hesitated in targeting his hire.
“From the success he’s had he’s one of the most humble guys around,” Condict said. “The kids love him and he’s also part of our summer workout program, so I’d say he’s had a part in our whole success here.
“I went to him right off and told him, “you got a couple of days, let me know if you want it.”
Swanson showed some of that humility when reflecting on the opportunity.
“I’m hoping I’m the right guy for the job,” he said.