Monday, July 13, 2009

John Kuester Led His High School Team in Floor Burns

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 3:54 PM

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In the recent weeks, we've heard all about John Kuester the coach. He was the offensive guru behind the Cavs, the yang to Mike Brown's defensive yin, and the new head coach of the Deeeeeeeeeetroit Pistons and Charlie Villanueva.

Before all that, and prior to assistant gigs with various pro teams, he was a college coach, and for one magical year posted one of the worst records ever:

Indeed, Kuester was at the helm when the [GW] Colonials stumbled to a 1-27 record during a bizarre season of blowout losses, suspensions, injuries, walk-ons and small but memorable triumphs.

"For most of his tenure, he was a mediocre coach in a mediocre league," GW grad Jason Woodmansee wrote to me. "But for one, not-so-magical season, he was the worst coach in the country."

There weren't many indications that the Colonials would crater that season, at least not in the public record. The team was coming off a 10-17 season, and as practices began, Kuester told reporters that his group was "going to surprise some people." He was right.

Before coaching at GW, Kuester was himself a remarkable college basketball player at North Carolina under Dean Smith. And before that —- the point at which we get to the reason this blog was written — he was a great high school basketball player, and as the newspaper in Richmond looked back on his time at Benedictine, they got this fantastic quote:

"He holds the all-time record for floor burns at Benedictine. There's no question about that," said Jack Hanky, who was a Benedictine assistant coach for 39 years. "If there was a loose ball between the Benedictine gym and Broad Street, he'd get it."

I'm guessing that's an unofficial record, right Jack?

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