Wieme goes 2-for-2Goodhue (23-7) has advanced to state in each of Josh Wieme’s two seasons as coach. The Wildcats play Buffalo Lake-Hector at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Class A state tournament.
By: Ryan Nilsson, The Republican Eagle
To view a larger version of the video, click here
Goodhue girls basketball coach Josh Wieme has hosted the Wildcats at his home the past two seasons for karaoke and dinner.
Last season he sang “Baby Got Back,” the hip-hop song by Sir Mix-a-Lot. This season he pulled out his guitar and performed Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ‘69.”
“I can’t believe you don’t all have it on your iPods now,” said Wieme, speaking to a few of his players after Monday’s practice about “Summer of ‘69.”
Junior Anne Lodermeier responded: “I’ve got some videos on my phone.”
The karaoke performances revealed another side of Wieme. Players said it allowed them to see Wieme as someone other than their demanding coach who sometimes yells at practice.
The songs helped build team chemistry, according to Lodermeier, just as Wieme planned.
“We let each other in. I let my guard down to them and I think they’ll do the same, which I think is a pretty big thing,” he said. “I guess I let them see me when I’m vulnerable, with the guitar, and telling silly stories about my dog. I do that for a reason. There are reasons I do these things. I don’t want to be a person that just instructs them from a distance.”
The strategy worked.
Goodhue (23-7) has advanced to state in each of Wieme’s two seasons as coach. The Wildcats play Buffalo Lake-Hector at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Class A state tournament.
He had similar success early in his high school coaching career. He was an assistant on the Kenyon-Wanamingo boys team that won the 2001 Class AA state tournament and was coached by his dad, Jerry. He served as interim coach the following season.
However, the success didn’t last. After a stint at Randolph as an assistant, Wieme returned to the Knights as head coach for the 2006-07 season. The K-W boys finished 1-24 with Wieme at the helm.
“I realized that wins just weren’t gonna come,” Wieme said. “Having three hour practices and running non-stop, there was no point to that, so we made practice fun. We still tried to be competitive as we could.”
Wieme left after one season to take a full-time teaching position at Goodhue; he’d been working as a long-term substitute.
When Wieme became the Wildcats girls basketball coach in 2008 he inherited a program that had finished .500 the previous season and returned three experienced varsity players.
Wieme stressed the fundamentals. He taught the plays. He worked with individuals on aspects of their game.
“Coach cares and he puts a lot of effort into everything he does,” senior Grace Majerus said. “He picks on you, but it’s a good pick on. He tells you what you need to do better and that really helps you throughout the whole season.”
Goodhue advanced to the 2009 Class A quarterfinals where it lost to Bigfork 38-35.
The Wildcats returned four starters from that team, and Wieme adjusted his style in accordance with the high expectations.
“This year compared to last year, there has been a big change. I have been a lot more demanding and less fun,” he said, adding, “I’ve been kind of holding back some praise and some positivity just to keep them focused on the big prize.”
Now that Goodhue is back at state, Wieme is apt to let his players in on how he really feels.
If you go ...
Who: Goodhue vs. Buffalo Lake-Hector
What: Class A girls basketball state tournament quarterfinals
When: 11 a.m. Thursday
Where: Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis