FARGO-Melvin Whitney, most recently an assistant coach at Fargo Shanley, has been hired as the new head coach of the Fargo Oak Grove football program.

Whitney confirmed on Friday he has accepted the coaching position and said he is eager to begin what will be his first ever head coaching job.

"Being competitive on the field and developing the young men as student athletes are the biggest goals of mine and making sure the kids have fun while they are competing," said Whitney, who has been an assistant coach with the Deacons for six seasons.

At Shanley, Whitney coached the defensive backs and wide receivers in addition to being the passing game coordinator. In his six years at Shanley, the Deacons qualified for the North Dakota Class 2A state title game five times winning championships in 2010 and 2012 during that span.

"I've always had it in my mind that I wanted to be a head coach and I had a great opportunity coaching under a hall of fame coach in Rod Oksendahl," Whitney said. "I was learning everyday and every year trying to reach this ultimate goal of being a head coach."

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Oak Grove was 1-7 in 2015 after making a transition to the North Dakota Class 1A division. The Grovers played 9-man football in 2013 and 2014.

Whitney, 43, takes over for Derek Bakken, who resigned as head coach in November to take a larger coaching role with the Fargo-Moorhead Invaders semi-pro football team.

Bakken was 6-20 in three years as head coach of the Grovers.