Friday, July 1, 2011

Timberlane Names Kirsch as New Hoops Coach

News about new basketball coaches being hired around the state just keeps on coming. It's no secret that Timberlane's boys basketball program has struggled in recent years. This past season the team went 0-18, missing the playoffs for the second straight year.

Head coach Paul Cardone's contract was not renewed at the end of the season. And the school is turning to one of its alumni, someone who was part of Owl basketball's glory days, to try and turn the program around.

Dave Kirsch, who led Timberlane to back-to-back Class I titles in 1981 and 1982, and most recently served as the assistant coach this past winter at Salem High, has officially been hired as the new boys basketball coach at Timberlane Regional.

Timberlane basketball is definitely in a rebuilding phase. The school is a wrestling powerhouse. All the way down to the younger ages all the athletes in the area are brought up to be wrestlers and to win titles at Timberlane. With wrestling being played during the same season as basketball, it's been very tough for any coach to build a winning program there. Ever since the days of the Tardiff brothers, Joe and Chris, it's been a struggling program.

Before serving as Salem's assistant coach last season, Kirsch spent the previous several years as a travel coach where he diligently worked to rebuild the Timberlane youth basketball program. Kirsch played college basketball at Babson College, and was a tema captain there as a senior. He has 2 sons coming up through the Timberlane program, Max and Mitchell, who will be in 9th grade and 8th grade this year, respectively.

Owls fans will have to be patient, as the team graduates 4 of its 5 starters, including its 2 best players - Jake Siemering and Bryan Cassidy. Three good players who do return to the program this winter are guards Andrew Breen and Shayne Mullins and forward Evan Bidgood.

Interview With Dave Kirsch

Jeremy Leveille: What does it mean to you to be able to coach at the school you played at and won a state title at?
Dave Kirsch: Coaching at timberlane where I attended high school makes for a good story if the program is successful. My efforts to be successful would be the same no matter where I coach.

JL: It's no secret that Timberlane basketball has struggled in recent years. How do you plan on rebuilding the program?
DK: To rebuild the program will take hard work and lots of hours in the gym for sure. I first want to create a positive attitude in the players, then a positive attitude in the whole program including the elementary level, then in the community.

JL: Talk about your coaching background
DK: Last year I was Assistant Varsity coach for "Coach of the Year" Rob McLaughlin at Salem High School.

JL: What specific goals would you like to accomplish as coach of the Owls?
DK: I think it is important to have goals as a player, a team, and a program. My most basic concern as a coach is to do what I can to insure the growth and success of the program as a whole. I will help set appropriate goals for each player and help them be successful. To be clear, I would expect these goals include academic goals. It is a bit premature to set team goals.

JL: What coaches have you worked with or befriended over the years that have influenced your coaching style?
DK: I have been very lucky in my basketball life to have been exposed to many great coaches. Obviously I spent the most time with my high school coaches Mr. Bucky Tardif and Mr. Ken Lindlof. In college at Babson I played for a very accomplished coach and player Mr. Serge Debari. I have kept in touch with all of them and they all continue to support me in basketball and other ways. Last year at Salem, Coach McLaughlin, Coach LaRosa, Coach Stanton and Coach Samataro were incredibly generous with their time and knowledge. I also need to credit Jeff Nelson, current NBA scout for his generous support. I could list several others. In my experience, basketball coaches in general are a very willing group of teachers.

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