BOZEMAN -- Two-time state champion and former Bozeman boys basketball head coach Wes Holmquist is ready for his new endeavor: coaching the Gallatin High girls varsity team.
“I’m just really excited," he said. "I think it’s going to be a fun ride.”
The team finally was able to enjoy practicing in its new facilities, which opened on Monday.
“The kids were asking, 'When do we get the gym, when do we get the gym?'" said Holmquist. "It’s fun to finally be able to tell them we can be in here. They were very excited to come in here that first time.”
Due to COVID-19 the team is a little behind from where it would normally be at this point in the offseason.
“I haven’t seen them play yet," Holmquist said. "We’ve been working on skills, we’ve been doing some stuff as a group, but we haven’t played a game yet. Typically by this point in the summer we would have played four or five tournaments and I’d have a pretty good grasp on what we need to do.”
One big reason Holmquist took the job at Gallatin was to spend more time with his family. Without this opportunity, he was considering walking away from the game as many as two years ago. His daughter will be a freshman for the Raptors this season.
“I was just going to be done," he said. "I was just going to watch my daughter play and be a dad. Obviously, it didn’t turn out that way. Got a good opportunity, I get to spend a little more time with my daughter. It’s not necessarily about her, either, but in order for me to keep coaching it was kind of my one option.”
Being around his family a lot more is a plus, but so is building a new program from the ground up.
“The opportunity to start a brand-new program just doesn't come around very often," said Holmquist. "That was very intriguing to me. That’s what I’m probably the most excited about, is building the foundations, starting something from scratch and understanding it’s not going to be an overnight thing. It’s going to be some work. It’s going to take us a couple years to probably get where we want to be, but that’s what’s exciting to me, too.”
It may take a few years, but according to one of his players, he’s already off to a good start.
“He just makes it always fun," said junior Avery Walker. "It’s always like a fun time to come in here and never boring. He always pushes us to get better, so I’m really excited for the year.”