NEW year, NEW coach, SAME dream

Skyler Stuke, Writer

The Shawnee Mission West basketball team has had a amazing coach the past couple of seasons. After Coach Brinsko retired, Ryan Darst, a math teacher at SMW was asked to take the role as head basketball coach for the boys varsity team. Here are a few questions that Coach Darst was asked:


How many years have you been coaching at Shawnee Mission West?

This will be my 16th year coaching at West (4 as the freshman boys, 6 as the girls varsity, 5 as the boys varsity assistant, then the first year as boys varsity coach).

What is your favorite thing about coaching basketball?

I love the journey that we take as a team through the whole year. Seeing players grow as basketball players, as teammates, and as people.

What is your favorite memory while coaching at SMW?

When I took over the girls program in 2002, they had previously won a total of 3 games in two seasons. So the thought of going to state wasn’t in the picture. So during the first 4 years we had two winning seasons and played in the sub-state finals twice with a chance to go to state. We felt like we had turned the corner. Then in the 5th we made it to state (the first time in 12 years), it was pretty exciting!

What are your expectations for the 2013-2014 season?

My expectations are that we will play every possession like it is the last one of the game, with complete effort and discipline. If we can do that in practice as well as games, we are going to surprise some people!