The debut of Coach Kroeckel

March 27, 2007

Pocono Record sports writer Andrew Kroeckel made his coaching debut Monday, watching his Keglovits girls team fall to Perryman 71-66 in the Fifth Annual Perryman & Keglovits All-Star game. The games, which are held in honor of Art Perryman and Al Keglovits and benefits cancer research, were played at East Stroudsburg University and featured the area's senior boys and girls.

The Pocono Record caught up with Kroeckel, who was asked to be a guest coach by East Stroudsburg South coach Adam Cole, to ask him about his first coaching experience.

Pocono Record: So, Andrew, how would you describe your first coaching experience?

Andrew Kroeckel: Different. It was very different. You're much closer.

PR: Closer to the action, right in there with the inner workings of the team?

AK: No, just closer — closer to the floor.

PR: You mean literally closer?

AK: Yeah.

PR: Uh, OK. So the team came back from a 16-point halftime deficit but ultimately fell short in the end. Was that tough?

AK: Well, losing certainly isn't fun, but I was definitely proud of the way the girls fought back. They heeded my words at halftime and came out strong in the second half.

PR: It didn't take you long to learn a few clichés.

AK: Thank you.

PR: What did you say to them at halftime?

AK: I was very direct. I told them to play better defense, grab more rebounds and to stop missing shots. This is basketball, not rocket science.

PR: Your basketball acumen is incredible.

AK: I know. Any chance you'll rethink your girls basketball coach of the year selection?

PR: Sadly it's too late. Maybe next year.

AK: I'm the sleeper pick.

PR: The sleeper pick for the Pocono Record girls basketball All-Area Coach of the Year? I didn't know there was such a thing.

AK: There is. It's me.

PR: So what happened at the end of the game when Perryman pulled away?

AK: The other coaches were jealous of my success and they started to undermine me. The girls got confused and didn't know who to listen to. I still don't understand why we didn't switch to a triangle-and-two.

It's all right, though. This loss won't go against my coaching record.

PR: Weren't you the coach on the floor?

AK: Yeah, but Cole is technically the coach of record. It's not my fault we lost.

PR: So you were just a figurehead? It did seem like you were just squatting there in front of the scorer's table and not really saying anything.

AK: Yeah, I mean no. Not really. I was there to help get us a victory. My presence was an inspiration for the girls.

PR: But you lost. And it was a charity game, does it really matter who wins?

AK: Absolutely. I figure there are only two worthy pursuits in life: victory and women. And women are crazy.

PR: They're not the only ones.

AK: Ha! Isn't that the truth?

PR: Was there anything that surprised you about the experience?

AK: There was a lot of breeze shooting before the game between all the coaches and officials and event organizers. It's not that it was surprising, I just didn't realize how much went on because I'm usually where you are before games.

Also, teenage girls swear a whole lot more than I remember.

PR: Is coaching something you could see yourself doing more of in the future?

AK: Maybe. It would probably have to be a boys sport, though. Girls are just small women and no less crazy.

PR: What kind of coach would you be, philosophy-wise?

AK: All I would ever ask of my players is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God.

PR: Isn't that a line from Full Metal Jacket?

AK: Love that movie.

PR: Did this experience help you gain a greater understanding of what coaches do?

AK: Yeah, it did. I figured I could just show up and yell a few coaching buzzwords. I thought since that's what a lot of parents do, and I figure they know their kids best, the girls would then fight to the death for me.

PR: Is that what happened?

AK: No, it didn't work out that way. Weird.

Emily Smith did ask me if she could call me Coach K, which is definitely fiting. So at least she gave me my due respect, unlike Carly Determan, who did her best to get benched by calling me Andy.

PR: I'm not a fan of Andy, either. If you were to coach again, would you do anything different?

AK: I'd do a better job of ironing my pants.

PR: Is that it?

AK: Maybe wear more comfortable shoes.

PR: Thanks for your time, "Coach."

AK: No, thank you. You need me to spell my last name for you?

PR: No, uh, I think I got it.