The Joy of Coaching

In December of 1979, I coached my first game as a head coach. After six years in junior highs, coaching freshmen teams, and a few years as an assistant coach, I was ready for the big time. The big time meant coaching girls at Wilber-Clatonia High School. The first game of my career was against Geneva High School. They too had a first-year head coach. After 31 minutes and 30 seconds of probably the most boring basketball possible, I had a junior guard hit a 15-foot jump shot that gave my Wolverines the win 29-28. I can’t even begin to tell you the joy I felt when that final buzzer sounded. We were 1-0, and it felt like we had won a state championship. Continue reading

Calling All Fans – It’s Western Week!

Saturday’s game will be the most important of the season for two reasons – it’s the next game on the schedule and it’s against rival-Missouri Western. We hope to have a packed Bearcat Arena Saturday afternoon and we’re asking you to help make that happen.

Jim and Amy Goecken of The Student Body (and Center Court Cat Club members) will be giving away 300 Bearcat basketball t-shirts and numerous gift certificates. In addition, Carson’s Sports Grille will hand out certificates and host our CCCC post-game social (contact me if you are a CCCC member and plan to attend!)

Adding to the game’s importance are its MIAA Tournament implications. There are five games left on the slate, including three home games in each of the next three Saturday’s. Three games separate us from the fourth-place Griffons, who have one win on our court since 2002. Each game is important for every team fighting to play in March.

In the last decade, we’ve had one of the best home records in all of Division II (113-23) and we have you to thank for providing us one of the best atmospheres in which to compete. We hope everyone will come out, be loud and crazy, and make Saturday afternoon a green and white one.

See you then!

Cabin Fever

Are you tired of looking out the window and seeing all the snow? It looked great in December. Who doesn’t want a white Christmas? It’s now February, which isn’t that long of a month, and March is just around the corner. Did you know golf’s first major, The Masters, is only 51 days away? Pitchers and catchers are beginning to gather in Florida and Arizona for spring training. I have cabin fever, but not for the obvious reasons. I’ll give you an idea of what cabin fever means for a college basketball coach.

Scenery – When basketball season begins with the first official practice in October, the leaves are just beginning to change colors. The grass is green. Getting in a bus and traveling anywhere provides great scenery for the rider. It doesn’t last long. By the third week of the season, everything is brown. The leaves have long left the trees, the grass is brown, the countryside is brown, college lawns are brown, UPS drivers are brown…I hate brown. Continue reading

Why Coaches Don’t Get Sick

Once during my senior year of high school, I got up on a Friday morning with the chills and body aches. No big surprise since it was January and right in the middle of flu season. I was never against missing a day or two of high school. The level of concentration my senior year wasn’t that good anyway. However, I got dressed, had hot tea and toast for breakfast, and dressed in a couple of sweaters. How could I miss school? It was game day. I don’t remember who we played or if we won or lost. The one thing I will always take from that experience is that during the course of that game, I never felt sick. It was difficult to warm up and I spent about 30 minutes in a hot shower after the game, but while I played, the flu took a back seat to athletic competition. Continue reading