Stampede Head Coach Bryan Gates
Boise, Idaho (August 15, 2007) - Itís the dog days of summer, the Treasure Valley is very hot, and the Stampedeís head coach Bryan Gates has been busy all off-season. He has been traveling cross-country, scouting any player that he can find, all while planning his own wedding. Earlier this week, idahostampede.comís Ryan Williams sat down with Coach Gates to discuss what he has been up to during the summer months.
You were selected to help the Sonics coaching staff during the Summer Leagues, how was that experience for you?
My experience was unbelievable. Assisting Ralph Lewis with Seattleís team was great; he welcomed me with open arms, as did P.J. Carlesimo once the Sonics hired him. They made me feel like I have been working with them for years, it was amazing.
How excited are you to be back for another season with the Stampede after last yearís success?
Extremely, Iíve always said that this is where I want to be. I couldnít be happier to be here and signed for another two years.
Have you been in touch with players from the 2006-07 squad?
I saw Peter Ramos and Ricky (Sanchez) in Puerto Rico, and I let them know how excited we are for the opportunity to have them come back. I saw Randy (Livingston), Ronell (Taylor), Jeff (Graves), Dalron (Johnson), and Lance (Allred) during summer leagues. I saw Tim Barnes, DeSean Hadley and Eric Williams during the USBL post-season, and I saw Luke Jackson at a camp in Las Vegas. So, Iíve pretty much talked with every guy that was on the team last year, theyíre all doing pretty well.
You are getting married this summer, how have you been juggling your personal duties with professional ones?
Well, Robin has been making all of the wedding arrangements (laughing). I canít lie, itís been a hectic summer, and Iíve been home for a total of seven days so far. Sheís been really great though; my career goals and her career goals have become our goals.
Youíve been traveling all over the country scouting, whatís been your itinerary so far?
With the D-League and the player pool process, you have to know something about everyone. I started out at the pre-draft camp in Orlando, then went to Puerto Rico, Houston, Las Vegas, Eugene (OR), Dallas, back to Vegas and Iíll go back to Houston before the end of September. Iíve been busy.
With the announcement of the 2007-08 schedule, plus the fact that the Showcase is coming Boise, how do you evaluate the pluses and minuses of those?
The first things you look at are where you start the season, the last 10 games, and where the long road trips are. Then you look at where our games line up with holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentineís Day now that Iím married (chuckling). You just have to take it one day at a time, and you canít look too far ahead. We start the season on the road and we canít look beyond Albuquerque, Colorado and Los Angeles. We have to be ready to play those teams.
Last season, you made some crucial adjustments to the teamsí style of play over the course of the season. Do you have a particular system of play that you try to instill as a coach?
Iíll tell you our system after the Draft. Last year we knew what we were going to do after drafting Peter Ramos. I like that the league allows us a week after the draft to start Training Camp, it gives us coaches some time to figure things out. But I try to tailor my style of play around the players that we have, which allows us all to be successful.