Boys Basketball: Brainerd Warrior basketball finds its guy
This might be Charlie Schoeck's first head coaching job, but he sees success coming quickly for the Brainerd Warriors.
Schoeck was hired Tuesday as the Warriors' new head boys basketball coach. He takes over for Scott Stanfield, who announced his resignation midway through last season. Schoeck is familiar with the circumstances surrounding Stanfield's resignation, when Stanfield cited parental pressure as his reason for leaving. Schoeck also likes the action and direction that announcement created and said those circumstances were never a concern.
"I think, to some level, every team is going to deal with those issues," Schoeck said. "I'm glad Stan brought it out to the forefront so we can get the conversation started about these issues. But I think now, everybody involved with Brainerd Warrior athletics is kind of looking forward instead of being the topic of controversy, but rather being the leader and being an example of how to handle those type of situations going forward."
The 32-year-old brings a level of passion and youth to the program. He was the lead freshmen coach for the Warriors the last two years and spent the last seven months writing for the basketball website prephoops.com, where he covered prep basketball players, especially those in the outstate area.
Warrior activities director Charlie Campbell said he received eight applications and held serious talks with a host of other interested individuals. However, Brainerd's lack of open teaching positions was a hindrance, which is why he's excited about this hire.
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- Position: New Brainerd Warriors head boys basketball coach
- Age: 32
- Previous: Spent last two years as lead freshman coach in Brainerd
- Family: Wife Kaitlyn Schoeck
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"First of all, we're thrilled with Charlie's interest, and two, his hire," Campbell said. "He's been in our program at the ninth-grade level for two years. In some ways, I was just starting to get to know him and this opportunity pops and it was fun for us to learn more about him and his passion for the game.
"He's just going to be a great leader. He has a high ceiling."
Schoeck and his wife Kaitlyn have lived in Brainerd the last two years. She is a physician at Lakewood Health System and he's a former banker at Frandsen Bank in Baxter. The 2004 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High School graduate attended Concordia College in Moorhead and graduated with a communications degree. When his wife was hired at Lakewood, she told him to follow his passion.
"It was definitely something I wanted to do," Schoeck said. "Two years ago, when I started coaching with Stan and these guys, it was something that I always thought if the time came it would definitely be an opportunity that I would jump at. I definitely didn't see the opportunity coming as quickly as it did. That was a little out of the ordinary. But it was definitely something I wanted to pursue when the opportunity came around."
Schoeck comes from a coaching lineage. His uncle Dave Schoeck won a state title as the basketball coach at Hancock. His grandfather Jim Walch was an activities director and coach at Osakis.
He said his strengths will be his youth and his ability to relate to players. Having coached in the Warrior program the past two seasons gives him a knowledge of the players and how to put them in spots to succeed.
A few hurdles he'll face is the timing of the hire and trying to piece together a summer program for the players as well as fill out his assistant coaches.
"I just think for the summer program, this hire had to get done," Campbell said. "We could have survived, but just the opportunity to spend some time with the players, especially for Charlie, was key. He's going to know the juniors and sophomores quite well, but he's got a group of seniors he's not going to know very well.
"This also gives him a chance to figure out how he's going to teach the offense and defense he wants to install over the summer. For everyone's sake, I feel, it was important to get this done before the summer."
Schoeck is hitting the job running and he's excited. He thinks Warrior fans should be, too.
"I'm just elated," he said. "I can't wait to get started. I'm going to meet with Charlie (Thursday, May 24) and we're going to get the ball rolling and get to work. I'm just excited to have this opportunity.
"I think (fans) should be very excited. Having been very familiar with this conference the last couple years, if you follow it, the teams that have been at the top like your St. Cloud Techs, Fergus Falls, Sauk Rapids, those teams are all losing a lot of their great players.
"Conference-wise, I think it will be a wide-open race this year and I think we have just as good a chance as any with the group of guys and the talent we're bringing back. There's no reason we shouldn't be right in the mix at the end of the season."