In the world of athletics, there is a common axiom: “Ultimately a team will take on the personality of its coach.”
This may be the reason the McKinney Boyd varsity boys basketball team is off to an exciting start, winning games by executing precise, disciplined, offensive and defensive schemes of coach Dean Christian.
Christian is well on his way to improving last year’s 11-18 record; there is already much “buzz” in the Bronco
Nation about the fast start the team has achieved, the Broncos currently sit at 5-2, including an early season road win over powerhouse Allen (53-51.) The Broncos are back on the court Thursday against Richardson High School and continue with play in the Collin County Roundball Classic through Saturday.
Christian, who is in his second year at Boyd, honed his team-oriented, disciplined, aggressive coaching style while an Air Force Academy Cadet. He was a member of the Falcons’ basketball team for three seasons during the early 1980s.
Although his playing days ended after leaving the Academy, Christian continued his love of the game and knew coaching was in his future. He gained valuable experience as the head coach of the Air Force Academy Prep School, as well as serving as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Universities Dartmouth
These experiences have served him well as he teaches his Broncos the game of basketball.
“Being at the college level has exposed me to some great head coaches,” Christian said, adding that he also has high praise for his MISD colleagues Wes Watson at McKinney High and Darryll Craft at McKinney North. “I really respect those guys, they have taught me much. There is really nothing special about me other than the fact that I am a good learner and have made it a point to have very high expectations for our players.”
Watching a Bronco practice session, it is easy to see the genesis of this success: “Practice preparation turns into game reality!” is the mantra that Christian and his staff share with the players daily.
“Our players are expected to bring something to the ttable everyday,” Christian said. “That something is effort and attitude.”
The soft-spoken Christian is quick to diffuse any credit for the team’s fast start away from him; instead he doles out praise to the entire team.
“I am very happy with the young men,” he said. “Their effort and attitude have them ready to play as hard as they can. These guys believe in each other.”
Christian says that his players have bought into a “team first’ attitude, which he credits as a big reason for this
year’s success. When asked to point out his “star” players, Christian quickly reminds me that the success comes not in a “star” but is a balanced effort. In four of the games already played, 10 different players scored points.
“I am very lucky to have the great kids we have who want to be coached and get better,” Christian added.
— Story by TSB contributor Harvey Oaxaca