Basketball caoch bounces back strong


by Phillip Nicolino

It is hard to believe that after a near fatal incident five months ago, Head Women’s Basketball Coach Brian Niemuth is leading Simpson to another good season.

Niemuth suffered a heart attack Sept. 24, 2001, and nobody really knew how it would affect him. But to this point, there have been no signs of trouble.

“Things have been going well and I have under gone some lifestyle changes,” said Niemuth. “I am more aware of taking care of myself now.”

Niemuth has made a conscientious effort to make sure that he is doing the things necessary to have a complete and full recovery.

“I make sure that I eat properly and I make time for my regular daily exercises,” said Niemuth.

The players can also see a difference in Niemuth’s appearance and the way that he is handling himself.

“He has done well with his eating and working out,” said senior Michelle Stover. “He has a lot more energy now and physically he’s great.”

There is one area that Niemuth is having trouble dealing with though. That is his stress management, something he knows he needs to work on.

“That is one area that I haven’t done well with,” said Niemuth. “I have taken classes with my rehab, I just need to practice what I’ve learned.”

Since Niemuth is a little careful about his stress level, there are a couple of things that he does differently during the course of the game. One of which the players feel is a nice change.

“He doesn’t yell at us at halftime like he used to,” said senior Casey Spree. “He comes in calm and collected and keeps everything in prospective.”

Niemuth is still approaching the game with the same mentality though. He is using this season as a chance for him to prove something to himself.

“I think that I have came with same intensity, if not more,” Niemuth said. “I see it as a challenge this year, making sure that I can still do the job.”

When it comes to coaching the game, Niemuth is still passionate about what he is doing and works hard at trying to win games.

“He still has the same will to win,” said Spree. “He just tries not to let the little things bother him too much.”

The little things could vary for Niemuth from game to game. But the one little thing that stays constant throughout the course of the season is the referees.

“I have been a little more calm with officials than I maybe would have in the past,” said Niemuth. “I don’t want to work my stress up with officials when I can focus more on the coaching.”

The thing about this season that may have affected Niemuth the most are the six games the Storm have played that have been decided by four points or less. All of those games have been losses and three of them were buzzer beaters. But Niemuth said he has been able to handle them all very well.

“I don’t think that we have had so many close games in my career,” said Niemuth. “As a coach, that is something that can stress you out and I have worked hard at dealing with that.”