King of the double team: Dowagiac coach Greg Blomgren

For years, coaches at Michigan high schools have coached girls hoops in the fall and boys hoops in the winter.

But a problem came up this year when it was decided to play both boys and girls basketball in the same season.

Many coaches picked one team over the other, but about a dozen decided to pull double duty.

Dowagiac's Greg Blomgren is among those who have become the king of the double team.

"I think it's been more than what you could imagine," Blomgren explained in between a girls practice and a boys game.

"Outside of what you do in practice (and games), there's scouting, planning for practice, planning strategy for games--you add that all up, and it's been at tremendous amount of work and some very, very long days."

Coaching two teams means double the workload. And double the workload means more opportunities to mix things up.

"Sometimes he might call a play and we're like 'what?' Katy Stuppy, Dowagiac's all-time leading scorer explains.

"And he's like 'no, that's the boys side," Stuppy says with a smile on his face.

And the problem certainly goes both ways and happens with both teams.

"Everybody is sitting on the court like 'coach what are you talking about?'" boys senior Ronnell Grady says unable to hold back laughter.

Coach doesn't catch on right away either.

"After about the third time I've called it and they're still looking at me with this confused look on their face, I realize that I've done something on one side or the other and that I'm not calling out the right stuff," Blomgren openly admits.

"So then we get it fixed."

So how does he fix the problem? Well, coach has developed a cheat sheet that he literally looks at before calling out his plays.

Blomgren says luckily none of mix-ups have come at major points in the game.

There are other slight issues with coaching two teams too.

"Yeah," Grady says unable to contain his laughter. "He gets mad at one team and takes it out on the other."

But all the players agree that Blomgren has done an amazing job handling both jobs.

The girls team will face St. Joseph is the 2nd round of districts on Wednesday. The boys team is a transition year after graduating 4 starters last season, but have maintained a .500 record.

Blomgren's coaching and teaching isn't limited to just the basketball court. He's also a biology teacher and has plenty of tests to grade and lessons to plan.

And that's just life at work. Blomgren is also married with three kids.

Unfortunately, he doesn't get to see his family too much these days.

"Usually see him from across the bleachers or late at night," Greg's wife Angie says. "Like 10:30 or 11:00. So yeah. That's how we usually see him."

"A lot of times I leave before they get up in the morning and I get home quite a bit and they're already asleep at night," Greg says.

"I love my kids, I love my family and I love basketball."

"This is a big part of my life and it will be a big part of their lives as they grown older. So hopefully they'll look back on this as they begin to play basketball and get more involved, and appreciate what we were doing here with our time with coaching."

For Blomgren, there's always Sundays. The day he doesn't have to coach and the day he can spend all his time with his wife and kids.

So what a basketball day like for Coach Blomgren? Be sure to tune in Thursday at 5:30 as we trail his afternoon and evening---including a trip to dinner---at Taco Bell.


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