Wheaton finds new boys hoops coach

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Wheaton’s Kelton Park prepares to put up a shot in the Bulldogs’ loss to Southwest in the Purdy Hoopfest last week. The team went 2-1 at the event under new head coach Brian Wilde. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Wilde gets first head coaching job, replaces Cavness

A first-time head coach has taken the reins of boys basketball in Wheaton.

Brian Wilde, St. Elizabeth High School and Missouri State graduate, has been hired to replace Jody Cavness, who was tapped to be Wheaton High School’s new principal.

Wheaton’s Kelton Park prepares to put up a shot in the Bulldogs’ loss to Southwest in the Purdy Hoopfest last week. The team went 2-1 at the event under new head coach Brian Wilde. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Wilde graduated from St. Elizabeth — which has about 500 K-12 students — in 2014, and while attending Missouri State, coached at the Boys and Girls Club, then was the freshman coach at Glendale for three years. He said Wheaton is a good fit for him because of its size.

“I wanted to go to a smaller town and school because of my background at St. Elizabeth,” he said. “When I interviewed at Wheaton, everyone was really nice and said the kids all work hard, and there’s some good talent on the team. They followed up with that because the kids do work very hard and are talented.”

Wilde said he has been with the program for three weeks and is too excited to be nervous about the new gig.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “Every day, I get to come work with these guys, and that’s awesome. I’m a little nervous, but the excitement overwhelms that because I want to make this team the best they can be.”

Wilde said his philosophy as a coach is to always be honest with his players.

“I tend to be as truthful as possible and have an open-door policy,” he said. “Building those relationships with players builds trust and allows us to correct things on the floor. It also helps create a belief in me and in the program.”

The Bulldogs have held summer practices since the first week of June, and Wilde set expectations from the start.

“I have installed our motion offense and man-to-man defense, and the guys picked up on it really quick,” he said. “We went to Purdy [Hoopfest] last week and ran those systems very effectively.”

Wheaton went 2-1 at the event, defeating Purdy and Miller but falling to Southwest.

“We have a big week this week,” Wilde said. “We [played] Ash Grove and Conway on Tuesday, then we go to Monett on Thursday and play Diamond, Miller and Greenfield, then to Monett again Friday to play Pierce City, Berean Christian Academy and Seneca.”

Wilde said he’s excited for the season to start, and he’s excited to work with his assistant.

“I’m very excited to get to work with Coach Dale Forgey, who has been here for 45 years,” he said. “It’s a great thing to have him, and he’s helping me learn a lot.”

Wilde will also assume athletic director duties for the district, which also belonged to Cavness.

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