Former Iowa State basketball player Julius Michalik was job hunting when the phone rang. But it didn’t concern an application he’d filed.
Instead, it was Fort Dodge football coach Matt Miller, who told him that the girls’ basketball position was open.
Michalik applied and was approved for the job Monday.
“I was applying for jobs all over, but not that one,” Michalik said. “It was a good sequence of events. Sometimes you have to be lucky.”
Michalik said his teaching position at Tri-Center of Neola was reduced this school year, so he began job hunting.
He will take over a Fort Dodge program that went 4-18 last season in the rugged Central Iowa Metropolitan League.
Michalik, a 6-foot-11 forward who played for the Cyclones from 1991-95, ranks as the sixth-highest scorer in Iowa State history with 1,825 points. He is originally from Slovakia, which was part of Czechoslovakia when he was recruited.
He’s coached the Tri-Center girls’ team for the past four seasons. He led the Class 2-A program to a 59-33 record.
Michalik also coaches the Tri-Center boys’ soccer team.
His previous experience includes serving as a boys’ soccer coach and a boys’ basketball assistant at Harlan. He also served as a boys’ basketball assistant at Tri-Center before taking the girls’ job.
Michalik will replace Scott Timmerman, who compiled a 30-79 record in five seasons.
His former Cyclone teammate, Fred Hoiberg, is the current Iowa State coach.
“Yesterday, he texted me and said, ‘Congratulations on the new job,’ ” Michalik said.
Michalik will teach science at Fort Dodge.
He said he is looking forward to the challenge of the step up to Class 4-A and 5-A competition.
“Obviously, you play against bigger schools and have a bigger player pool,” Michalik said.