New Coupeville High School boys basketball coach Brad Sherman watches Mason Grove, left, and Jered Brown work during a drill Thursday. (Photo by Jim Waller/Whidbey News-Times)

New Coupeville High School boys basketball coach Brad Sherman watches Mason Grove, left, and Jered Brown work during a drill Thursday. (Photo by Jim Waller/Whidbey News-Times)

Sherman takes over Coupeville program / Boys basketball

Coupeville High School will turn to its past to build the future of its boys basketball program.

Brad Sherman, a 2003 Coupeville graduate, takes over the head coaching duties this winter, replacing Anthony Smith who had a 22-98 record over six seasons.

“Coupeville is home, and it’s a home I’m proud of,” Sherman said in regard to taking the position. “I love this community and this school, and I care about the success of our basketball program.”

Sherman, a 2007 graduate of Western Washington University, is also an assistant football coach at Coupeville. He coached youth basketball in Bellingham while attending WWU, was the Coupeville Middle School basketball coach in 2009 and helped with the summer high school basketball team for several years.

Sherman was a star hoopster for the Wolves during his high school years, helping the Wolves win the Northwest 1A League title in 2002. He was a two-time, all-league choice in basketball and football (quarterback) and a two-time selection as the school’s Athlete of the Year.

Sherman hopes to turn around the program with “good, fundamental basketball.”

“The best teams are the ones who do the little things well, and execute,” he added.

He also wants his club to forget the past.

“I think it’s important that we don’t spend our focus looking backward,” he said. “Yesterday and last season are behind us. It’s a new day, a new year. We are busy setting goals for the future of the program and working hard to get to where we want to be.”

Athletics go beyond wins and X’s and O’s, Sherman said. He will emphasize character, class, commitment, academics and service to the community.

“I stress to our athletes that their actions, words and behavior on and off the basketball court represent not only themselves but their teammates and coaches, their program, their school and their community,” he said.

Helping his players navigate through life after basketball is important to Sherman.

“I read a story once about a college football coach who was asked about whether or not the season he just had was a success, and his response was to check back with him in 10 or 15 years when he could see what kind of young men his players had become,” Sherman said. “While we are working hard day in and day out to get better and win basketball games, ultimately it’s about long-term success for these athletes and helping them along the way.”

The Wolves are off to a good start.

“This is a great group of kids with some talented senior leadership, and I’m confident they will have a strong season, but they need to believe it too,” he said. “Between camp, summer practices, scrimmages and carrying right over into the start of our season, there is a group hungry for and committed to success and I’m excited to see what they can do.”

Another goal, he said, is to build for the future.

“Successful programs don’t just happen,” he said. “The high school program, coaches and athletes need to be visible throughout the youth pipeline.”

Sherman wants Coupeville kids to feel part of the Wolf basketball family and he will try to “get young athletes excited about the game and excited to wear the Wolf uniform.”

Sherman will be assisted this season by Chris Smith, the Coupeville varsity baseball coach and volleyball assistant.

“(Smith) really knows the game of basketball, and, more importantly, has a tremendous ability to teach the game of basketball,” Sherman said. “Our athletes are lucky to have him on board.”

Sherman, who is married and has three young sons, just finished his masters and teaching certificate.

“Growing up in this same gym watching countless games from a young age, playing here myself and wearing the Wolf uniform, and now being fortunate enough to raise our own family here in Coupeville —- there is honestly no place I’d rather be coaching. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity.”

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