Wilber’s Dana Altman dancing in Sweet 16

Posted By: Nicole Cousins


March madness is mad.

It has its Cinderella stories, bracket busters and buzzer beaters.

Something Wilber, Nebraska native and Oregon men’s basketball coach Dana Altman knows all too well.

“I think a lot of coaches across the country know how good of a job he’s done with his program,” former player at Creighton Jimmy Motz said. “And what he’s done at Oregon the past 6 years in terms of building that into a national powerhouse is pretty much remarkable.”

Altman saw the big stage long before his time with the ducks.

He led Kansas State to the tourney in 1993, before coaching at Creighton.

He danced with the jays seven times, three of those with Motz.

“We’ve been on the good side and the bad side,” Motz said. “2002 we had a shot to win the game and in 2005 with West Virginia we had the chance and missed it. The one thing about him is he’s never satisfied even after winning a conference championship or conference tourney. Its what can we do to get better, and I think he’s saying that to his guys now.”

Now as a head coach for Columbus High School, Motz still keeps in touch with his former mentor.

“I’ve had a few conversations or texts with coach going back and forth congratulating him on the Pac-12 or beating holy cross,” he said. “The one thing about him is he’ll take time to talk to his former players.”

Altman may have switched from blue and white to green and yellow, but he still leaves a lasting impression on his home court.

“Obviously all eyes are going to be on Wilber, Nebraska tonight and I know there’s a lot of Creighton backers and people in the state backing him.”