Trinity hires JV coach for varsity basketball position

A familiar face will return as the varsity boys basketball coach at Trinity Lutheran High School for the 2016-17 season.

Brian Stuckwisch will head the Cougars’ program, returning to the position after coaching the junior varsity for five seasons.

For the 2010-11 season, Stuckwisch served as the Cougars’ varsity head coach.

Unable to find a hire after Jon Sprengel left the program in 2010, Stuckwisch agreed to fill the spot until Aaron Rudzinski was hired in 2012.

That year under Stuckwisch, the Cougars won their first sectional championship by defeating Orleans 53-40 in the championship game.

Trinity defeated Wood Memorial 54-44 in the first game of the regional before falling to North Daviess 52-42 in the championship.

The Cougars went 20-5 during Stuckwisch’s first tenure, and that final loss snapped a 15-game winning streak.

Stuckwisch said he has more than 30 years of coaching experience.

“I’ve been at St. John’s Sauers most of those years — at least 20 — coaching from sixth- to eighth-grade for both boys and girls,” he said. “I then helped out at Brownstown Central’s middle school for three years before going back to Sauers. Trinity then opened up, and I’ve been here since.”

He said a committee selected him as coach, and there will be major differences between coaching the JV and varsity teams.

“They were looking for a coach, and I put my name in the hat,” Stuckwisch said. “Fortunately enough, they picked me as their choice. Junior varsity is really hard to coach because you’re developing players, and you’re playing 10 to 12 players while trying to win. On varsity, you’re playing your five best and going out to win.”

This upcoming school year, Stuckwisch will inherit a young team with seven graduating seniors leaving the program.

Many players on the varsity team will come from his former JV squad.

“This year, we lost seven seniors and have almost no experience,” Stuckwisch said. “We have one player returning with a lot of varsity experience. It will be interesting to see how they develop in one year and what they can do as seniors. We will be bringing up some younger kids with talent to see what they can do.

“You try to bring out the fundamentals and help them develop. When they’re seniors and you see them start or get a lot of playing time, it’s a deep feeling of accomplishment. It’s an enjoyment to see.”

Trent Kimbrell, who formerly coached the freshman team at Trinity, will rejoin the coaching staff as the JV coach.

A freshman coach has yet to be named for the Cougars.

Stuckwisch said he’s a defensive-minded coach with a strong passion for fundamentals.

“The biggest thing my kids will tell you is that before every game, the three most important things are defense, free throws and rebounds,” Stuckwisch said. “I take a lot of pride in defense and rebounding. Free-throw shooting is big toward the end of games. A lot of times, you can tell who wins by looking at that column at the end.”

Stuckwisch said the program has some announcements in the works.

“Myself and the girls basketball coach (Mike Lang) have been working together to promote both programs,” he said. “We have some new things coming out. We don’t want to really say what they are right now, but it will be out pretty soon. We are trying to get more information out to show people what we’re about anytime they want to online.”

This summer, Stuckwisch will have his team play in a tournament and actively participate in open gyms and strength and conditioning.

Rudzinski coached the Cougars from 2012 to 2016, posting a 64-50 record.

During the past three seasons, Rudzinski’s Cougars totaled at least 16 wins in each season with a sectional championship in 2014.{p dir=”ltr”}”Coaching basketball on top of my other duties as athletics director and biology teacher just became too much,” Rudzinski said. “In addition to that, I have four younger children and a wife at home that hardly see me four to five months out of the year.{p dir=”ltr”}”The extra time will allow me more time at home as well as free up more time for me to focus on and further the athletics program and improve upon what I am able to do in the classroom.”

Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7069.