Trevor Deppe knows a little bit about Waterloo athletics. A 2010 graduate of the school, he was a three-sport athlete playing football, basketball and baseball for the Pirates.
In October, he accepted the vacant coaching position for one of those programs — boys basketball.
“At first I wasn’t going to (apply). My wife was working late, and not getting home until 6 o’clock most nights. So at that point, it wasn’t going to work out for my schedule,” he said, while mentioning they have an 11-month-old son. “Then when she took a job at the school that’s when I was contacted to possibly apply. I talked it over with her and we decided it was a unique opportunity, so I decided to take it.”
Deppe is familiar with the current program, having been the JV2 coach the past two seasons.
“He’s an alumni of Waterloo and I think districts like ours have to sort of grow your own coaches in today’s world, there just aren’t a lot of people that are willing to coach. So the fact that we have a coach that is an alumni and someone who has been with the program I think it’s a good time for us to have somebody lead the organization,” said Waterloo District Administrator Brian Henning.
The program has suffered through some tough years, not having a winning season since 2007-08 when Waterloo went 16-5 and finished second in the Capitol South Conference.
And last season Bryan Setz, the head coach since 2012, was replaced following a 1-9 start. Interim coach Brian Lutz went 4-9 after the mid-season change.
The last time Waterloo didn’t have a losing season was 2009-10 when the Pirates went 12-12. It was Deppe’s senior year.
“I’m just going to start putting in a lot of hard work and trying to get the most out of the players. And with that being said, having them show faith in me,” said Deppe.
He also plans on being a fixture at youth games and tournaments.
“I want to build a culture, from the senior class all they way down to fourth grade when kids start playing basketball. I’m trying to get kids excited about playing basketball while enjoying the sport,” Deppe said. “I’m hoping that will start turning into improvement and eventually wins.”
With a new fieldhouse currently under construction, Deppe is hoping to build the program up to where one day it is filled to the rafters.
“The volleyball team is packing the seats, so why can’t boys basketball?” said Deppe, referring to the Waterloo spikers recently playing in their fourth WIAA state tournament in the last six years. “We expect to get the community excited about basketball again.”
The 2019-20 boys basketball season begins on Monday, Nov. 18 with the official first day of practice.
Deppe’s coaching debut is Tuesday, Nov. 26 when the Pirates travel to Pardeeville.