Former Wesclin High boys basketball coach Brent Brede began a second tour of duty at the school he once helped lead to a state title when his hiring was approved Tuesday by the board of education.
"I couldn't be happier or more excited to get another opportunity to lead the program," said Brede, whose teams were 158-109 in during a previous nine-year tenure nine seasons with four regional titles and two sectional championships. "I'm just really excited and really blessed to have an opportunity to coach at the school that I truly love. I care a lot about the community and the school."
Brede, 42, replaces former coach Andrew Wilson. Wesclin Superintendent Jennifer Filyaw said there is a desire for adding more coaches from within the school district.
Wilson teaches at Trico and had been coaching at Wesclin. Wesclin was 12-17 last season, losing to Mater Dei in the regional semifinals.
The Warriors lose five seniors, but return a lot of players with varsity experience.
"Mr. Brede has great ideas to rebuild the program, to get the younger-aged students more involved as well," Filyaw said. "He wants to get the basketball program built back up. I think he is very excited about returning. I think he'll be very good for our program."
As one of the top athletes in school history, Brede had 36 points and 13 rebounds to help Wesclin win the 1990 Class A state championship.
Paired with current Missouri State head coach and former Iowa and Southern Illinois University Carbondale standout Paul Lusk, the Warriors defeated Prairie Central 83-78 in double overtime to win the school's only boys basketball state title.
"He's incredibly supportive of my decision to continue to coach and he was really excited about it," Brede said. "When I was the coach prior, we spent quite a bit of time together talking about basketball and those conversations will continue again."
Brede spent parts of three seasons in the major leagues with the Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks. He was drafted by the Twins in the fifth round of the 1990 draft following his senior year at Wesclin.
In the majors from 1996 to 1998, Brede hit .251 with five homers and 40 RBIs in 169 games with the Twins and Diamondbacks.
Brede played professional baseball in Japan, then retired in 2000. He was hired in 2001 to coach Wesclin's boys basketball team.
Brede resigned from his first coaching tenure at Wesclin in March, 2010 over what he called "a difference in basketball philosophy."
In her first year as superintendent, Filyaw said an athletic committee has been formed seeking better success for the school's sports programs. The main goal was attracting more qualified coaches from within the district.
"Our new superintendent and the athletic committee that's been recently formed is taking the Wesclin athletic program on a path that I'd like to be on," said Brede, a junior high social studies teacher.
Filyaw played volleyball at Belleville East and also in college.
"I've watched sports and we've been OK," she said. "I don't think we've been great. One thing that I think is lacking is (for) some of our coaching positions, we really need to get members of our staff back on our coaching staff.
"Brent's a good example, we have a lot of people with a lot of skills on our staff. I'd really like to see people on our staff become reinvested in Wesclin sports. Our baseball team is very successful and we have a teacher on staff (John Groennert) who coaches our baseball team."
Filyaw said part of the process was to ask coaches to re-apply for their positions and interview with a committee that included the district principals.
Wesclin also will move into a new school and new gymnasium later this year.
Brede does have a son that will be in eighth-grade next season, Nate Brede, a talented player. But Brent Brede said there other reasons he wanted to return to the bench.
"It's something I enjoy doing," he said. "I love to compete and up until I quit four years ago, I'd been in a locker room for as long as I remember. I literally had never been outside of being with a team in the locker room.
"It will be nice to be able to get back in that environment, which is something I've always loved. The cupboard's not bare, either."
Brede said some of the proudest moments he had in coaching did not involve victories or anything that happened on the court.
"It's the impact you can have on young men," he said. "I want to win as bad as anybody, but to see an ex-player of mine driving down my driveway and I'm smiling from ear-to-ear because he came to tell me some good news in his life...it's great.
"I love to teach and I love to coach."