This archived article was written by: Valeria Moncada
Brian Edelstein’s favorite thing about coaching at USU Eastern was the people. “I was so impressed with the community outreach to our team after the passing of Coach Brad Barton. People really banded together to support our players and that really impressed me.”
Coach Edelstein learned to have an incredible amount of patience through the experience of coaching his first year at USU Eastern.
Some of Edelstein’s favorite games from the 2011-2012 seasons were at Western Nebraska, Eastern Arizona, Central Arizona, Salt Lake and all three games overtime against North Idaho. “We obviously had a tough year in the sense that we lost nine league games that were within one possession inside the last media timeout, (4:00 to go), but I loved watching our guys compete with everything they had, game in and game out.”
He would like to catch on with a D-1 staff next season. “Ideally, I’d love to be on the West Coast, but it’s difficult to pick your destinations in coaching.”
He isn’t sure where he will be in five years, “I would have never guessed five years ago that I would have ever ended up in Utah or South Carolina or Ohio, I just like to enjoy the ride rather than worry about the future too much.”
Coach Edelstein thinks refereeing at the conference is a disaster. “There is absolutely no level of consistency within a game. The refs seem to panic under the pressure in the final few minutes. I think moving to only two officials would help this league’s officiating a lot. Hopefully, this isn’t like the NBA where they fine coaches for those types of comments.”
Although he coached players who were only a few years younger in age, he said they weren’t tough to coach at all. “They may only be a few years younger in age, but in life experience. They are still just in college and still finding themselves, as most people are in college. My players were an absolute joy to coach as they approached the game the right way and committed to a team first mentality.”
One of Edelstein’s biggest challenges as a coach was often being the only voice they heard. “That’s one of the reasons for having multiple coaches, so the voice doesn’t get stale saying the same things over and over but due to our circumstances, it was often times the only option though I’m sure some of the players would have preferred silence.”
His biggest learning curve this year was figuring out how to deal with Coach Barton’s death, not only personally, but for the team as a whole and keeping the squad together through it all. “There really isn’t a playbook for the situation I inherited, especially taking over for someone so beloved as Coach Barton.”
Susan Polster, Pam Cha are some of Edelstein’s favorite people at USU Eastern, “Also the many others who go above and beyond to help our players in any way they can,” Edelstein said.
When arriving to his home in California, Edelstein is looking forward to being able to spend time with friends and family who he usually only gets to see a couple days of the year; “Some of my players would expect me to say, ‘Go to Jack in the Box’ which is probably true as well,” he said.
Moving to Ohio and becoming a graduate assistant at Kent State was the biggest risk Edelstein has ever taken. “It’s not easy to move across country while only knowing a couple of people where you’re going but life isn’t fun or rewarding without risk.”
He likes all of his players and thinks they all brought something positive in unique ways. “I will say that the way Chase Flint plays the game is something that is rarely seen as there is few basketball players that play with that level of tenacity, smarts and determination.”