Published June 26 2012
Strand switches: Coach changes schools to be closer to his daughterFARGO – A conversation between friends made Brad Strand start to think.
Strand and recently-hired Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton girls basketball coach, Tom Critchley, Jr., were talking about what comes with being a coach.
Family came up and it made Strand think.
“It was brought up how we spent a lot of time with everyone’s kid,” Strand said. “But why not our own?”
Spending time with his daughters is why Strand is leaving the Pelican Rapids boys basketball program and becoming the girls coach at Fergus Falls.
Strand was already going to Fergus Falls to take an assistant principal job, which allowed him teach math.
Shortly after taking the job, the girls basketball job became open. He got the job and once he gets the school board’s approval in July, he will coach the team.
“I wouldn’t say it was a negative when we visited, but it hit me a little bit more,” Strand said. “My daughters were not able to come with me to weekend tournaments like they did when they were younger.”
Strand said his schedule made it harder for him to spend time with his daughters.
It was going to become even harder as his oldest daughter, Mackenzie, will play basketball at Concordia next season, he said.
Strand will get to coach his daughter, Bailey, next season.
“With my oldest going to Concordia, I would have had to balance a college basketball schedule along with a boys and girls basketball schedule,” Strand said. “For my own family, it will be a better fit because I can spend more time with my daughter.”
Strand leaves Pelican Rapids after 16 seasons, highlighted by 2009 season when the team went 33-0 and won a state title.
Strand led Pelican Rapids to three 20-win seasons over the last four years.
That includes his most recent season, as he coached Pelican Rapids to a 25-4 record reaching the sub-section finals, where it lost to rival Perham.
Strand, who was also a math teacher at Pelican Rapids, was the school’s athletic director. He was offered a job as being the school’s assistant principal and director of its alternative learning center.
“It was not an easy decision to make,” Strand said. “But it was something that had to be done.”
He inherits a girls basketball team which enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history, going 30-2 and reaching the state tournament.
Fergus Falls only loses four players from last season’s team, including Mariah Monke, who will play Wisconsin-Green Bay this year.
Strand said he likes the potential the team has for next season.
“I think initially, the big picture is the job in Fergus Falls really fits me better,” he said. “I think it will allow me to grow.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter
Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.
Clark’s Force blog can be found