Former MCC men's coach transitions well to women

Friday, November 8, 2019
Coach Brandon Pritchett has helped guide the McCook Community College women’s basketball team to a 3-0 start entering two home games this weekend.

McCOOK, Neb. — Brandon Pritchett grew up in a sports family in Arizona.

His mom was raised in Indiana, so he also spent a lot of time with grandparents rooting for the Hoosier men and Notre Dame football.

He was a junior in college when he began coaching boys basketball and has been coaching young men for nearly two decades.

It was something he thought he’d do the rest of his life – until this year.

After nine years as an assistant with the men’s program, Pritchett took over this year as head coach of the McCook Community College women’s basketball program.

Pritchett was named interim coach for the Lady Indians Feb. 24 of this year following the resignation of Kellen Fernetti.

For Pritchett, the job was much more than just a caretaker role.

Those who have known and worked with him for the past decade – including Athletic Director Jon Olsen, who appointed him and ultimately hired him for the permanent role – knew Pritchett would take those interim duties seriously.

The Lady Indians won their final two regular season games, won the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference, hosted and won a first-round Region IX tournament game, then ended the season with a one-point loss to Eastern Wyoming in the second round.

“Taking over like that at the end of the season was a great opportunity,” Pritchett said.

When he accepted the interim position, he hoped to gain some head coaching experience on a short-term basis. But something unexpected happened.

With each passing day, with each game, after each practice, he was securing bonds that he couldn’t step away from.

Not only did he apply for the position when it opened, but players from both the men’s and women’s team drafted unsolicited letters in support of his “candidacy.”

“It just seemed like this was the right fit for me, my personality… who I am,” Pritchett said.

Now the Indians are roaring to a 3-0 start this season entering today’s 5:30 p.m. home game against Laramie County Community College in the Graff Events Center.

MCC will also host Eastern Wyoming College at 2 p.m. on Saturday as part of Veteran Appreciation Day.

When he began coaching back in college, he was single. Now he is married. He and wife Jasmine (a former MCC volleyball player) have three girls, Amiya, 7; Leiya, 3 and Zaiya, 2.

“Having female role models is important and that’s a perspective that’s been reinforced and expanded when I became a father,” Pritchett said. “I now have the chance to help develop

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