Archive for Thursday, June 10, 2010

Price is right again: New BSHS basketball coach is familiar

June 10, 2010

Bonner Springs High School formally introduced its new boys basketball coach last month, and it’s a familiar face.

Andy Price met with players and parents in the BSHS auditorium to introduce himself — or, more accurately, reintroduce himself — to them and lay out the program’s plans for this summer and beyond.

This will be Price’s second stint as the Braves’ coach. He had a successful five-year run beginning with the 2001-2002 season and concluding with the 2005-2006 campaign before he abruptly stepped down at the team’s end-of-season banquet to spend more time with his young family.

Price replaces Ryan Hull, who was Price’s successor when he stepped down the first time. Hull — who also is a cross country assistant coach and the head boys golf coach at BSHS — stepped down to spend more time with his young family.

Price posted a 66-42 record and won two Kaw Valley League championships during his first stint with the program. He’s the second-winningest coach in school history and has the top winning percentage at .611.

Now 36, Price says the time away from coaching was good for him.

“I just think at that point I was kind of really getting too obsessed with basketball and was neglecting my family a little bit,” he said. “I had a 2-year-old at the time, so I just kind of needed to step back and get a new perspective because I was getting too wrapped up in it.”

Price stayed busy during his time away from coaching at the high school level. He remained with USD 204 in the technology department. He coached middle school basketball for two years — those players will be juniors and seniors next year— and he has spent the past two seasons helping to live stream the BSHS basketball games online. He also spent the past two years helping organize some of the summer basketball programs at BSHS.

In addition, Price has enjoyed watching his family grow. The 2-year-old now is almost 6, and Price has a daughter that soon will turn 2.

Price said when he stepped down he always expected to coach again. Still, he admits the situation at Bonner Springs is unique in that he will be the head coach for the second time.

“When I left, some people knew that basketball was in my blood and they thought when I gave it up that I was just going to immediately go coach somewhere else, that I was just looking for a bigger school or something like that,” he said. “But I always loved coaching here. I thought I related well with the kids here, I thought that it was a community that really needed a positive role model and I thought I was making a difference in all those things that are good, human things.

“I had no interest in really leaving, so I just wanted to focus on my family, focus on my tech job and just take a step away from it. I really had no idea I’d be back in this position again. I wasn’t looking for anything necessarily, but it really worked out nicely — especially since the two years that I coached at the middle school those kids are now juniors and seniors, so I already know them, and I was really happy to get some of the same assistants. They were in kind of the same situation in that they stepped away from it just to have a little more family time, and now they’re ready to get back into it.”

One of the biggest differences Price points out between the first go-round and this one is that he now understands he doesn’t have to do everything. He convinced former assistant coach Dan Streit to come back on board as part of an experienced staff.

Bill Downing will come back on board as the junior varsity coach, and Barry Richards will stay with the program as the freshman coach.

Streit said the fact that most of the staff has worked together before and all has head coaching experience in one sport or another should be a benefit for the program.

“We all respect each other and we feed off each other,” Streit said. “When you have that positive energy and feed off each other it’s like a family in that you really get close to them and understand them and how they move and motivate people. It really helps.”

There likely will be some strategic changes between what Hull’s teams did and what Price plans to emphasize. Hull’s Braves adopted the Grinnell System that emphasized the 3-point shot. Price’s teams likely will attack the basket more, but will try to capitalize on the improved perimeter attack that Hull’s squads developed.

Defensively, Hull’s teams played a fierce, pressure defense. Price would like to do the same and try to create easy scoring opportunities by forcing turnovers.

“My system would be that we primarily want to be a man-to-man team, but have a zone in our pocket for times when we need it out of a timeout or as a surprise or if there’s a team that’s huge and we can’t stop them in man-to-man,” Price said. “We like to run. I always thought that in our league we were usually the faster and more athletic team. We weren’t always the biggest, but we always had a lot of speed and looking at what we have coming (back) we have a lot of speed so we want to push tempo and have a controlled fast break and bring good defensive pressure and get points out of our defense when we can.

It all sounds great, but it’s only great if it works. I always tell the kids ‘you know the object of the game is to score more points, so there’s two things you’ve got to do. You’ve got to create easy shots and you’ve got to make shots difficult for the other team.’”

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