Road to Glory

Cody Hand / THE FLARE || Rangers head coach Brian Hoberecht led the men’s basketball team to its best season in 55 years. This is his fifth season at KC and the first time he has received Coach of the Year honors.
Cody Hand / THE FLARE || Rangers head coach Brian Hoberecht led the men’s basketball team to its best season in 55 years. This is his fifth season at KC and the first time he has received Coach of the Year honors.

KADE MORRISON
Staff Writer

KC men’s basketball head coach Brian Hoberecht has been named Coach of the Year in the Region XIV conference.

The KC basketball program is coming off one of its best seasons the college has seen in 55 years. The coaching staff is working hard to prepare for next season, but is also enjoying what the success of this season has already brought to the program.

The Rangers finished with a 27-6 overall record and won the Region XIV regular season conference championship. That allowed them to compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. They came up short in the second round, losing 53-51 to No. 2 seed Spartanburg Methodist.

The list of accomplishments for this team is long and every great team has a great leader. Hoberecht had one of his best seasons as a coach, but his history has led him to this point.

Hoberecht played four years of college basketball at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan.  He then moved to Emporia State University as a graduate assistant and was promoted to the assistant coaching position at the university. In 1997, he became the assistant coach at Dodge City Community College and took over the head-coaching job in 2000.  He coached at Dodge City for eight years before accepting the head-coaching job at KC.

Hoberecht has a rich history of experience that has influenced his success as a coach. Being a former player has helped Hoberecht relate well with his teams.

“It helps me understand where they are coming from and really understand some of their frustration,” Hoberecht said. “I have been where most of them are in the game at some point.”

Junior college basketball programs can bring a lot of pressure because of the quick turnover ratio. Hoberecht thinks his coaching staff has really been good at accepting the responsibilities that have been given to them.

“This allows me to focus on our team and focus on the individual pieces of the program,” Hoberecht said.

Hoberecht has learned many lessons over the years in coaching, but has prided every basketball program on one thing: “Character matters.”

“I love the opportunity to watch my team grow up as people, students and players,” Hoberecht said. “I love teaching and preparing each week as a coach. Being a part of the whole growth process as a coach is extremely rewarding.”

Coaching comes with many challenges throughout the year.

“I try to constantly challenge my players to get out of their comfort zone. I want them to be a better player than what they have pictured of themselves,” Hoberecht said. “I want to help players understand they have a lot more to give than when they first enter into the Kilgore College program. It is a true challenge to get them to this point as a player.”

People forget the time that it takes to be a good coach and the time it takes away from family. Hoberecht believes in the team becoming part of his extended family, and his personal family has graciously accepted the team in this role. He tries throughout the year to find alone time with his wife and kids.

“Having good communication at home is just as important as having it on our team,” Hoberecht said.

As Hoberecht looks back on this season and the honor it brought in being Coach of the Year, he wants to keep things in a coach’s perspective. Hoberecht knows his players are what brought the success in this season and he has reaped the reward of their hard work.

“Great teams and great players get better through accomplishments, not by being average,” he said. “My appreciation and respect for our players and coaches is at the ultimate highest level this year.”

The community surrounded this team in support of its successful season.

“I want the KC basketball program to have a positive influence within our community,” Hoberecht said.

Hoberecht is thankful for all of the support.  He felt that the success of the KC Rangers basketball team really brought the whole community together and gave Kilgore something to rally around.