PALMYRA, Mo. | Alex Brandenburg returns to his old stomping grounds as he takes over as the girls basketball head coach for the Palmyra Panthers.
Brandenburg graduated from Palmyra High School in 2005, and takes over for Chris Parsons, who stepped down after eight seasons.
“Going back home is going to be fun being able to see a lot of familiar faces,” Brandenburg said. “Being able to be back in a school district that I love, and also have my family go with me, have my kids be able to be in that district is pretty exciting.”
Prior to accepting the head coaching job at Palmyra, Brandenburg had taught at Mark Twain High School for 10 years and served as the girls basketball head coach for seven years.
Brandenburg said he learned a lot from his experience as Mark Twain's head coach.
“I think the biggest thing is just how to coach different players and different teams,” Brandenburg said. “I kind of learned over time to adjust to where I coached to different personalities and to meet the skills of my players.
Brandenburg has not yet had a chance to meet his players, but hopes to meet with them soon.
“That's the hardest part of our current circumstances is that I'm not going to get to be around them this summer,” Brandenburg said. “I think the summer time is one of the best times to get to know your players and get to work with them in the gym.”
Palmyra graduated nine seniors from last year's team after finishing 20-4, and losing the district title to Macon.
Brandenburg said his main goal is continuing Palmyra's successful tradition.
“Coaching in the area myself, it's always been one of those few schools in the are you look to that set the mark for everybody else,” Brandenburg said. “The goal for us into next season is to continue the success that we've seen come before. It looks different every year, and I'm excited for the opportunity and the challenge of continuing that tradition that was set before us.”
Brandenburg said that former coach Parsons did a good job of helping prepare the team's players.
“I'm just going to keep doing things with excellence and continue to do my best to put our best foot forward in making sure that our team is prepared,” Brandenburg said.
During his time at Palmyra High School, Brandenburg played on the boys basketball team that won the district title in 2005.
“We started our season with a record of 2-10, and we were coming off a 20 win season the year before,” Brandenburg said. “We were kind of able to make a run through conference and pull out a district championship. That was a great memory and a lot of fun looking back on those times.”