Former Lightning head coach should be on the sidelines somewhere

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Last Sunday night (March 30), I was exchanging a comment or two with former Rockford Lighting Head Coach Chris Daleo via Facebook. He is putting together a basketball team to travel to the Dominican Republic for six games in nine days at the end of April.

I half-jokingly volunteered my assistant coaching expertise. I outlined my qualifications as being a hard worker and a huge fan of Daleo’s style of coaching and play. I wasn’t joking at all about that.

He’s a hard-nosed, no-nonsense, old-school style of coach. His résumé shows success at a variety of levels in the world of basketball, including college and professional. He stresses sound fundamentals, solid defense and accepts nothing less than total effort from his players at all times. He’s all about winning games.

Here’s something I don’t understand: why isn’t he working as a head coach someplace? I don’t pretend to even begin to know how the people in charge of such decisions make them. But if I were in their shoes, I’d at least have Daleo on my short list of coaching candidates. The game needs his style of coaching.

I’m guessing part of the reason he’s overlooked is his refusal to be a “yes man.” He won’t sacrifice his standards to fit into someone’s cookie-cutter system. He continues to demand discipline and respect from his players — that’s something that isn’t nearly as common today as it used to be.

Here’s a good man with a proven record, considerable skills and a desire to get back in the coaching business. Let this column serve as a public notice that Daleo is available and more than ready to start winning games again.

I don’t know what the basketball coaching situation is at each of the area high schools, but if there are any openings, I’d suggest the athletic directors take a serious look in Daleo’s direction. A few things I’m fairly certain of: his team would play hard, win games, respect authority and most importantly, wouldn’t be starting any brawls.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

Posted April 2, 2014

You might also like

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!