After a four-year hiatus, Geneseo’s Brad Storm is coming home again. Storm was named the new Geneseo boys’ basketball coach for the 2012-13 season July 9.
“In the movies, the sequel is never as good as the first, so let’s hope this sequel is better,” joked Storm.
“I am definitely excited to be back,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t have entertained the idea of coming back if I wasn’t excited.”
“We did get a good pool of applicants, and we were surprised about how many had varsity experience,” said Geneseo High?School athletic director Travis Mackey. “Brad was on our short list.?He has come back prepared and showed he is re-energized, which was good for us to see.”
The time Storm spent away from coaching allowed him time to reflect and re-energize.
“I feel re-energized. I really needed that break,” said Storm. “I sensed I needed one and I was exhausted. It was a good time to take that break. It was a good break and I now feel refreshed. It was a good time to be a fan and reflect on how I coach, which was beneficial in many ways.”
Storm stepped away from the Leafs’ bench at the end of the 2008 season after the team reached the Sweet 16. His decision allowed him to watch his son, Tyler, play basketball for Northern Illinois University and his daughter, Kaci, play volleyball, basketball and track at Geneseo.
Storm walked away four years ago after five seasons with a 73-49 record.
“The time I spent away from coaching, I wouldn’t trade for anything,” said Storm. “Being able to watch Tyler play in college was great, and, if I would have been coaching, I would have missed a lot of Kaci’s events.”
Storm said there was a little hesitation at first when the position came open at Geneseo.
“I think everyone was caught off guard when Dave Martin resigned when he did,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting this opportunity to come at this stage so it took me some time to decide if this is what I wanted to do, but the juices started flowing, and I let Geneseo know I was interested.
“I really didn’t know when I would get back into coaching, but I did think it was going to be a little bit longer. What are the odds that an opportunity would open up after Tyler graduated from NIU and Kaci from Geneseo? I was not at the point where I wanted to move so if this was going to happen this early it had to be something like this.”
When Storm told his family that he was jumping back into the coaching arena, the decision did not come as a surprise.
“My wife, Shari, made the comment to me before that she hated to see me quit. She missed it, too, because the kids were an extended family,” he said. “Kaci was excited and I told Tyler over a text and I just got back ‘LOL’. They both know it is something I love to do.”
With the summer a little more than half over, Storm wants to get as much work in as he can with his new team.
“The first thing I want to do is build relationships with the kids,” he said. “I want to start implementing what I do as a coach and my philosophy for the kids on and off the court. We are going to dig in, roll up our sleeves and play hard.
“I think the transition will all depend on the kids. My overall style is a little more aggressive offensively. I like to run when it is there and attack. That is the style I like, but it will be a transition.”
Storm said it has been difficult jumping into things at this point in the summer, but he knows the players have been working hard.
“It has been hard because I haven’t been around this summer, and I am very appreciative of the work coaches Josh Reschke and Mike Kiss have put in.?
There is not a lot of time to implement things this summer so I am just trying to build relationships with the players and get them excited about the upcoming season.”
In the last four years, Storm has not been completely away from the game of basketball. He has spent time at Erie, where he teaches, working with players who were looking to improve their skills. He then began to help out during practices, which started to get him interested in having his own program again.
“Being away from the game gave me time to reflect and gave me a better respect for the importance of the game,” he said. “When Tyler was coming through, we knew we had a good team and pressure was there to win, and I might have gotten lost in that, but now as a fan I was able to enjoy the game."
Storm doesn’t believe the pressure is there to have a Sweet 16 caliber team right away, but has the hope that the Leafs will eventually be able to reach those heights in the future.
“That group who went to the Sweet 16 worked hard for years, and we have to instill that in these kids,” he said. “I really missed the challenges of developing players and teams and scouting. I am really looking forward to that.”
“Brad is a known commodity to us and has a proven track record,” said Mackey. “He has a passion for Geneseo and all of our athletic programs. He promotes basketball and there were a lot of positives about him. It was the right time to move forward.”