Lukas Thein, Assistant Basketball Coach at Edgewood College
Front Rush is excited to share stories from coaches across all divisions and sports. Every coach’s journey begins with the first six months.
Why did you start coaching?
Many of the coaches that I’ve had throughout my life have made a huge impact on my coaching career. It has always been my dream to be able to impact the lives of others and have the opportunity to push each player to their greatest potential—as was done to me.
Ultimately, competition has always been in my blood and it wasn’t something I was ready to give up as a player, but something I was ready to take on as a coach. Now standing from a different viewpoint, it’s my job to fuel this competition through our players.
What went into your decision to coach at your alma mater?
Making the decision to coach at my alma mater was a no brainer. The strong relationships that I built with Coach Meyer (Head Coach Edgewod College) and other member of the athletics department (Suann Saltzberry, Al Brisack, Ryan Odell list can go on and on) was the main reason for me to stick around at Edgewood. Coach Meyer also gave me free reign to take on new aspects of the Edgewood men’s basketball program; I grew to love the recruiting process. Edgewood proves to be a college that offers student-athletes great academics and a competitive athletics culture.
Recruiting students to my alma mater is simply something that I feel strongly about. I can only hope that Coach Meyer and I will one day be winning a conference title together.
What was the most challenging part of your job when you first started?
As a player you don’t realize the hard work that is put in by your coaches. Now as I see the game from a different view, it’s about embracing the four nights a week recruiting, late night scouting reports and endless hours executing practice prep. While it may have been draining to start, it’s these key components that have helped me grow to be a better coach and mentor.
What goals did you create in those first six months?
Early on in my coaching career I developed a five-year plan. Now in my fourth year, I can say firsthand that my goals have vastly changed. During the first six months of my coaching career, I altered my goals and set out to learn whenever and wherever possible. Coach Meyer was such an amazing recruiter before he accepted the head coaching position, therefore I knew from watching him work that I needed to step outside my comfort zone and follow in his footsteps.
As I took ownership of the recruiting process, it became apparent how significant this initial step was to achieve any of my goals at large. While my goals still remain, it was important that I realized that everything takes time–small goals need to be achieved to accomplish larger ones.
If you could go back to those first six months of coaching, what would you tell yourself?
Recruiting Advice: Recruit student-athletes that best fit your program. Don’t chase rankings or kids from high profile AA teams. Find the players that match your program and instill the values of your college. Recruit the kid that loves the game, gets it done in the classroom and has more questions than answers.
Advice: You are never too big for the little things; be willing to sweep the floor, do the laundry, fill the water bottles. Keep yourself humble as it helps you realize everyone is on the same playing field and team. Show those coaching that you are willing to do anything and everything for the betterment of the team.