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The City Journals

Hillcrest girls’ basketball coach resigns after first season win

Jan 13, 2022 11:59AM ● By Julie Slama

Hillcrest High freshman/sophomore coach Alyssa Nielsen, seen here coaching last February, will take over as interim head coach of the girls’ basketball program this season. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Absent at the 58-54 victory at Kearns High School was Hillcrest High girls’ basketball coach Matteo Dal Monte.

The Huskies, which on Dec. 7 was coached to their first win of the season by assistant coach Anthony Alford, learned at practice the next day that Dal Monte resigned for personal reasons. 

“He’s a good, calm, collected, solid coach,” Principal Greg Leavitt said about Dal Monte.

Freshman/sophomore coach Alyssa Nielsen, who knows the players and the program, has been appointed interim head coach. A search for a new head coach will follow this year’s season, Leavitt said.

In a letter to parents, Nielsen outlined her playing career as a three-sport high school athlete in Duchesne, Utah, followed by playing both basketball and softball at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig. She joined the Hillcrest basketball staff last year.

“As I am stepping into this new role, I have high hopes for these girls and what they can accomplish,” she wrote. “I am dedicated to making this season the very best I can for every girl involved.”

Dal Monte joined the basketball staff as an assistant coach in 2018. After his initial season, he became the freshman/sophomore team coach. Last year, he was named head coach. 

Last year, the team lost in the first-round of state playoffs to Bountiful High.

In a letter to the Hillcrest community, Dal Monte, who also missed coaching a game against Box Elder High this season, said that with his other positions at the school, he felt the “girls deserve a head coach who can be fully present and ready to handle the rigors of a high school season, and Coach Alyssa is prepared and equipped to take over as the interim head coach to finish out the season.” 

Dal Monte also wrote he appreciated the support of the program from parents and the community for “being the best fans for our student-athletes.”