Feature photo by Paul Flessland
West Fargo High School’s new boys’ basketball head coach, Adam Palczewski, explains in his own words why he’s stepping into the role he was born for.
Coaching basketball, football, and throws for track and field, this former nose guard has come a long way since his days as a Bison football walk-on. The Scranton, North Dakota, native is drawing on his extensive network to raise the bar for Packer athletics.
Playing football at NDSU
I was actually on an academic scholarship and chose to walk on. From the time I was little on the farm, my dad, brother and I would go out to work and listen to the radio for Bison football games in the fall. That’s just where I wanted to be, and then Gus Bradley gave me an opportunity to walk on under Coach (Bob) Babich, and I took it.
Adam’s Path After Graduation
After I graduated from NDSU, I moved to Duluth, Minnesota, and taught out there for a year at Central High School. Then the next year, I went to Denver, Colorado, to teach football, basketball and track at a couple different schools. Eight years ago, I moved back to Fargo, and I’ve been at West Fargo High School ever since.
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I was very excited to come back. I have a lot of family here so it’s good to be around them, a lot of my friends are still here and I get to go to NDSU football games now. The football program does a great job of taking care of alumni. It’s been really nice to see how much Coach Chris Klieman and all the staff appreciate the guys who played there.
New West Fargo Coach
I was the assistant boy’s basketball coach for eight years, at all levels, now it’s time for the big job. I’ve been preparing for it for awhile now, the last eight or nine years, so it’s good to finally have the job and see what we can do.
I’ve been able to coach these kids since they were little, from basketball camps to now finally getting the job and seeing how far they can push themselves by the time they are seniors. I’m excited to see how much growth that they can have because it’s really not about the title of head coach, it’s about how much you can give to the kids. If I can give them more than they thought they had, that’s going to be the fun part.
What Prepared Adam for His Dream Job
Probably the biggest influence on my coaching career was playing at NDSU. That was my first real experience in seeing how coaches prepare and challenge kids to be better than they think they can be. Just the sheer amount of work that I saw them put in. It really opened my eyes to what coaching is like, and what it should be like if you want to be great at something.
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The tougher things are, the closer you get with your friends because you have to depend on each other. I had wonderful friends at NDSU, a lot of it is the time we spent together, but also the quality of person they recruit to play. Not every program is like that, and I found that out by moving around the country. NDSU is a special place.
I enjoy camping out in the mountains, I like to get away. In the summer I usually take a week to go on my motorcycle by myself on a trip somewhere.