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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — For the final home game in Cedar Rapids LaSalle High School varsity boys’ basketball history back in 1997, its head coach rented tuxedos for him and his coaches and players to wear.
The game may or may not turn out well, he figured, but, dang it, Wes Bruns was going to make sure everyone looked real, real sharp.
“It was fun,” Bruns said. “I just said ‘what the heck?’ Kind of in honor of the last year of the school and everything.”
That was the first head coaching job for the Cedar Rapids Prairie graduate. Bruns went on to coach the three first teams in Cedar Rapids Xavier existence
He was an assistant here and there, winding up as Mount Vernon’s head coach a few years back. After most recently coaching at the sophomore level for a couple of schools, Bruns is back at the front of the bench, recently named new head varsity coach at Cedar Rapids Jefferson.
He replaces Chris Fechner, who stepped down recently because he believed his work for the Iowa National Guard didn’t give him enough time to work with players during the summer.
Fechner is expected to be head sophomore coach for Jefferson this coming season.
“So the next couple of months, we’re just planning on hunkering down and doing our stuff,” Bruns said. “We’re just moving along. Getting to know the kids, helping them know how I work. That’s the thing. I think we’re all working to kind of feel each other out a little bit right now.”
Jefferson went just 2-18 this past season. It had primarily a junior roster, though apparently some of those juniors/would-be seniors are transferring to other schools for football reasons.
Bruns has experience at small and large schools, schools from 1A to 4A, parochial schools and public schools. He is beyond excited for this opportunity.
He said he needs to change the culture of the program around and that could take some some time.
“I just want you to grasp it, get the idea (of not losing),” he said. “That’s the hardest thing to break, the mentality. It’s going to take work, it really is. It’s going to take trust, believing in each other. I’m grateful (Activities Director) Mr. (Chris) Deam gave me the opportunity.”
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