Printed on: May 16, 2013

AAU coach to lead Tigers

By MICHAEL LYCKLAMA
mlycklama@postregister.com

The Idaho Falls School District 91 board of trustees hired a man with a reputation of turning around struggling programs Tuesday as Idaho Falls High School's next boys basketball coach.

The board approved the selection of Alex Wells, a former Filer High School boys basketball coach and a current coach with Idaho Select, an AAU team located in Boise.

Wells led Filer for two seasons between 2008-10. Filer won five games in three seasons before his arrival. Under Wells, Filer posted a 34-15 record, reached the 3A state tournament twice and won the 2010 District 4 title, the school's first since 2000.

"He's a young coach with a lot of energy," District 91 athletic coordinator Kerry Martin said. "It's kind of what Idaho Falls needed."

Wells, 29, takes over a struggling Idaho Falls program that posted an 0-22 record at the varsity level last winter and was outscored by an average of 18 points per game. Idaho Falls won only one game between its varsity, junior varsity and freshmen teams.

Wells said it might take longer to rebuild Idaho Falls than Filer, and he's not putting any goals on wins and losses right away.

"I'm going to be as confident as I can, and the ultimate goal is to win a state championship," Wells said. "But I'm going to keep everything in perspective. It'll be the same approach (as at Filer) -- a lot of intensity, get as many kids involved as possible and make it enjoyable."

Wells also previously served as an assistant at Troy High School with his brother, Guy Wells, and served as an assistant at Walla Walla Community College in Washington.

He's spent the past year coaching with Idaho Select and leads the program's top 16-and-under team, which includes Bonneville standouts Keegan Hansen and Schareek Davenport and Shelley's Carter Cannon.

"Those kids and I are really close," he said. "They've expressed an interest to play for me. Whether that happens or doesn't, I have no control of it. I'm not recruiting them by any means."

Wells will not teach in District 91 and said he will search for a job when he moves to Idaho Falls.