How I became a basketball coach: A Lieutenant Dan Situation

It was 6 years ago that I made a promise to my good college friend on a late Saturday night; it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. He had been telling me about his undefeated JV basketball team and talking about his players, the schemes he was running and how much fun he had every day. He is was the picture of enthusiasm and just like anything in life, there is always an attraction to the things that others are so passionate about.

I had played basketball all my life, playing basketball 6 times a week in college in many cases. And while I’m not the best player, I love the game. That night I made a commitment. I told my friend, Coach Schruender of this blog, that should he get a Varsity position I’d be his assistant coach. The promise was made with the thought that I could make more practices, while having a full-time marketing job as it’s very difficult to make work outside of a teacher’s schedule. I wasn’t sure I’d ever keep that promise as how could I make it work with life and my job. Little did I know it would come so soon.

So it begins…

I remember getting the call from Coach in 2013, “Practice starts after Thanksgiving!” He had just gotten the job as the Varsity Girls Head Coach at Saugus High School and he wasn’t going to let me off the hook on my potentially empty promise. With little choice, I became an assistant high school basketball coach.

And it’s been a tremendous journey. This just ended the 4th year of coaching high school basketball at Saugus and it’s been a definite learning experience: not only basketball but learning about myself. We’ve been through adversity, doubt, success and triumph in four short years taking a program from 3 wins to 16 this past year but most importantly helping our players come together to create a life experience they’ll cherish. When our players say this is their favorite team to be a part of, that’s why we do this and what we aspire for.

One of My Best Decisions

As I look back, that night always serves as a reminder that sometimes the split second, gut decisions you make are the best ones. That there are always reasons not to do something but that action is always better than inaction. I take pride in being called “Coach” by the community, parents, players and other coaches and without a little push that wouldn’t have been possible.

Thanks Coach Schruender for keeping me to my promises!

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