Job Change: A Family Move to Indiana

I’ve accepted an offer from Greenwood Community Schools to teach seventh grade language arts and become the head girls basketball coach. The town of Greenwood is twelve miles south of Indianapolis, Indiana, the state where I grew up playing the game. My parents were both English teachers, and my dad was a coach.

Bill Torgerson, girls basketball coach, Greenwood High School

Greenwood, Indiana

The move is motivated primarily by a desire to put family first. If all goes according to plan–does that ever happen?–the position gives me the opportunity to teach in the middle school where both of my daughters will eventually attend. One of my dominant memories of growing up in Indiana is of my my mom, dad, sister, and me all piling into the car to head off to school together. I remember when my dad was the athletic director at Caston (name derived from Cass and Fulton counties) in North-Central Indiana, we’d take him dinner and have a sort of picnic in his office. In accepting the position at Greenwood, I imagine many times where all of us Torgersons will be in the same building doing the work of learning, teaching, and developing as members of a school community.

family on the couch

Our Family in Asheville: Martin, Sue, Scottie, Megan, Anne, Isabel, Charlotte, Me

After ten years of not coaching, I found myself back in the gym coaching Charlotte and her peers when she was a second grader. Whether it was in Connecticut or North Carolina, we have regularly had lots of girls over to our house to work on their games in the driveway. Especially during the last two years, I’ve been scrapping for gym times, filling out insurance paperwork, and looking for gyms to rent. As I realized that what I liked best about my life was working with kids and basketball, I began to look for ways in which that activity could become a primary aspect of my job.

basketball, Bill Torgerson, Greenwood High School, girls basketball

two-ball passing in the driveway

For the past eleven years, I’ve been a professor at St. John’s University in New York who taught First Year Writing courses. What I’ve enjoyed most about St. John’s is working with the students. Located in the borough of Queens where over one hundred languages are spoken, I’ve felt like representatives from all over the world have shown up so that we could write and learn together. As discouraged as I can feel about the prospect of different cultures sharing space in the world together, the classrooms I’ve inhabited at St. John’s continue to show me those from different cultures can not only coexist, but celebrate and learn from one another’s differences. Over the course of my career of working with young people for over two decades, few things have made me more proud than being able to say I am a professor at St. John’s University.


A Writing Group Pauses for a Picture: Love these SJU students!

During the last three years, I’ve been splitting time between Asheville, North Carolina where I live with my family and New York City where I’ve continued to teach writing courses at St. John’s University. I have loved living in Asheville for the beauty of the mountains and the French Broad River, the opportunities to live an active outdoor lifestyle, and for the passionate community that surrounds the arts. As a lover of stories and storytelling, I’ve felt empowered by the audiences that have supported my writing and films during the time I’ve called Asheville home. As much as I’ve enjoyed living in Asheville, I’ve felt divided when it came to the time I’m able to give my family and the time I want to spend with my students at St. John’s. I felt it was time to wholly commit to one community. Once I decided I wanted to teach and coach, Indiana seemed like the place to do it for its facilities, enthusiasm for the game, my upbringing there, and the chance to work with a good friend, Greenwood Athletic Director Rob Irwin. Rob and I coached together when I was his assistant at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne.


Sectional Champs at Fort Wayne Carroll: Me on far left next to Rob Irwin

While the upcoming move to Indiana will be a return to the area where I grew up, it will be the first time my wife and daughters have lived in the state. As I engage in the work of moving and changing jobs, I try not to think too much about what I am leaving behind and instead focus on looking forward to the opportunities available to me as a teacher who will get to spend at least five days a week with students. I’ll look for chances to provide some sparks of excitement when it comes to young people’s enthusiasm for reading, writing, and learning. I look to the ways in which I can also use basketball as a vehicle to give young people positive experiences. My friends with kids older than mine testify to the fact that their children’s childhoods have gone by fast. My youngest daughter Isabel is eight years old, and I can’t help but thinking that she’ll likely be graduating from high school in ten years. Knowing that, I can think of no better way to spend the next decade than sharing it on a daily basis with my daughters, my wife and parents, and in service to the young people in the Greenwood, Indiana community.

Greenwood High School, Girls Basketball, Coach Bill Torgerson, Indiana

Looking forward to my first season at Greenwood High School!




Speed Clinic Fundraiser for Girls Basketball

Lee Taft has offered to run one of his Jump Start Speed Clinics and donate all participant fees to the Greenwood Girls Basketball Program. Cost is only $20 per person.

Click below for waiver to sign and mail in to girls basketball Coach Bill Torgerson:


Greenwood Jump Start Flyer- Corrected


Taft speed clinic


IGHL Kickoff Meeting + 8th Grade at Open Gym

Three announcements:

  • IGHL Kickoff Meeting: We will have an Indy Girls Hoops League kickoff meeting for parents and coaches on August 2nd in the activities center (field house) at 6:30. Expect the meeting to last less than an hour. Grade level teams are invited to meet in individual groups as needed following the larger meeting. More info below.
  • High School Open Gyms will begin Monday, August 7th after school. The gym is reserved Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Because the 8th grade does not have an IGHL team, they are invited to HS open gyms.
  • HS Girls Team Power Hour Meeting: The high school is utilizing what is called Power Hour, which allows students to meet with teachers of their choice for 30 minutes of their lunch. Girls basketball will have a power hour meeting on Monday, August 7th during the second half of lunch. Power Hour will also be utilized once a week to shoot free throws. I’ll look for a day that doesn’t conflict with other girls sports or the boys basketball team.


A version of the letter below was emailed to some and also posted to the Greenwood Lady Woodmen Facebook Page to announce the upcoming Indy Girls Hoops League (IGHL) kickoff meeting:

To the Parents and Coaches of IGHL Players:
First off, I want to say that I think we all should expect some bumps in the road as we learn to work together. For example, I’ve realized that some of you already had plans made or in the works to get your season started with meetings. Please understand that if I’m stepping on any toes by choosing this specific day or time, I’ve done that by accident. 
I’m working with the high school basketball staff to plan an IGHL Kickoff Meeting FOR COACHES AND PARENTS on Wednesday, August 2nd at 6:30 in the field house.
The main purpose of this meeting is to thank you for all of the positive momentum you have created when it comes to girls playing basketball in our community. I also want to introduce you to any of our basketball staff who are able to make it. This includes Terry Boesch, who was recently hired as a teacher at the high school and who I’ve asked to focus his coaching time on working with youth girls basketball programs. I also want to share what I see as the Greenwood ADMIN’s perspective when it comes to my role working with youth programs and use of the facilities. Admin will hold me accountable for some aspects of the youth program, and I need to share that information with you.
We hope this meeting will last less than an hour. Terry and I are happy to hang around after the meeting to answer questions. Of course it might make sense that you will want to get together after the meeting to take care of business for the upcoming season.
We have some gym times available in the activities center (field house) most Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 – 7:30. The more we can all practice at common times, the more we can work and learn together.
Parents and coaches at each grade level should expect to do things much like they always have, which I see as working together to make decisions that are best for the team. What will be different is that you have a new high school staff that wants to cheer you on and support you however we can. If any coaches would like to talk about practice plans, player development, drills, press breakers, basic offensive principles, or anything else that we try and implement at the high school, we’d enjoy getting together for conversation.
I look forward to seeing you in the gym soon!
Bill Torgerson
English Teacher and Girls Basketball Coach
Greenwood High School
Coach Bill Torgerson Greenwood Girls Basketball Indiana

Podcast: Asheville Movies and Wicked Weed with Edwin Arnaudin

This May 6, 2017 Torg Stories Podcast edition is with Edwin Arnaudin, a freelance writer for publications such as Asheville’s MountainXpress and Citizen Times.

Edwin is working on a piece for Xpress about our documentary film, On the French Broad River, and so I asked him to join me for a conversation about Asheville and freelance writing. We also talked about what was then the breaking news that the popular local craft brewery Wicked Weed had been sold to Anheuser-Busch.

edwin podcast.jpg

Our On the French Broad River film screens Asheville’s Grail Moviehouse at the following times:

  • Wednesday, May 24th 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, May 27th at noon
  • Sunday, May 28th at noon

Click here for more information including location and how to buy tickets.

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast or look for it on iTunes.

You can connect with Edwin on Twitter by clicking here or check out his movie site here.

Thanks for reading and/or listening!