(Episode 3 “Gene Heidkamp- I’ve Been Fortunate”)
In this episode we meet one of the fine coaches in Illinois, Gene Heidkamp (Benet Academy/Nazareth) whose team finished 2nd in the state in 2016 and has been a powerhouse in the Chicagoland area in recent years. He has also had the chance to coach such stars as NBA-er Frank Kaminski (Wisconsin), Sean O’Mara (Xavier), and Dave Sobolewski (Northwestern).
In the first part Gene discusses the value of being an assistant coach (St. Patrick under Mike Bailey) for 9 years as helping him develop into a head coach. He learned the game there and knows the role of a good assistant and the relationship with the head coach. He then goes on to explain how working summer basketball camps (such as Hoop Mountain Midwest) has added to his coaching IQ. Next, he discusses the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, his success there, and why it is a key section of his yearly schedule (he even mentions the off-the-court time, including Dairy Queen).
In the middle segment we venture into the world of X’s and O’s. Schemes, philosophies, player development vs just running plays, and the values of playing man defense are discussed. He also relates his ideas on beating pressure and last second possessions. He drops the names of some respected coaches here (I’ll let you guess) and even said that he has “borrowed” some effective plays from his opponents. Gene has also had to adapt his style from small teams to those that featured major college recruits and he explains the thoughts he has had throughout the process.
The last section hits on his time coaching at 3 private schools and the things he has learned. His reflections on how fortunate he has been to coach such fine people, from star to the last player on the bench, is truly powerful.
I recognize some Brad Stevens (Butler/Celtics) in his ideas and demeanor. A must listen for all coaches!!
GUESTS: Gene Heidkamp
HOSTED BY: Scott Olson