New Varsity Assistant Girls Basketball Coach at Greenwood High School

On Friday, July 21st, I was given the go ahead by Greenwood High School Principal Todd Garrison to share the news that Terry Boesch has accepted a teaching position at the high school and agreed to be the varsity assistant girls basketball coach. This is a position that was filled last year by Kris Simpson. Coach Simpson will be the junior varsity coach for the 2017-18 season. 

I first met Terry when he reached out to me via email to inform me of his family’s plans to relocate to Greenwood. I was immediately impressed with Terry’s desire to learn about the game of basketball and use it as a tool for teaching young people important life lessons. In addition to Terry’s successful work with girls basketball players in the Martinsville area, he did equally remarkable work with his students in the classroom.

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Terry with wife Valentina and daughters Milana, Elise, and Vivian

Terry comes to the Greenwood community after a successful government and military career that included deployments to Kuwait and Iraq. Before moving to Indiana last year, Terry worked as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of Arlington National Cemetery. Facing long commutes of over two hours each way per day, Terry wanted to make a change that would allow him to be around his family more and pursue his passion for working with young people and the game of basketball.

When I offered Terry the position of varsity assistant girls basketball coach, I outlined some of his major responsibilities as follows:

The varsity assistant will work with the head coach to design and implement a Greenwood Girls Basketball Developmental Program. This means the varsity assistant must work closely with all coaches in the program, including the high school and middle schools staffs as well as those who coach within the IGHL, Lady Mac, and AAU teams that use Greenwood Community Schools facilities. The varsity assistant will serve as a liaison between the youth basketball community in Greenwood and the head girls basketball coach.

In planning this introduction of Terry to our Greenwood basketball community, I asked him what he thought I should tell the parents of the girls who are interested in basketball. I was excited by his response:

“I think you should tell the parents that I’m very much looking forward to meeting them because we are new to Greenwood and because we all love basketball, and we want to see our daughters do well in it. … To get started in my new role, I just plan to observe and offer encouragement and support.”

Some of you may have already met Terry as he has brought his daughters to a few of our open gyms this summer. As he and I both prepare to begin our first year teaching at Greenwood High School, I look forward to working with him, the rest of our staff, and the larger Greenwood community to create opportunities for our youth. I look forward to seeing many of you in the gym soon!

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.

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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!

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Looking forward to my first season at Greenwood High School!