By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco’s new basketball coach knew as soon as he met the administration, that Churubusco was the right fit for his family.
After ending his career as IPFW’s womens coach, Paul said he and his family decided to continue coaching, but in a different arena.
“When we decided that I would continue coaching, we talked about what we wanted as a family,” — and that was a small-town feel and a community that embraces the team.
Paul said his family shied away from Fort Wayne schools for that reason.
“In Fort Wayne there are a lot of schools in one city, but in Churubusco, the Eagles are our team,” Paul said.
When the position opened after former coach Mike McBride transferred to Norwell, Paul put in his application, but didn’t know very much about Churubusco. After meeting with administration and athletic director Paul Sade, the decision was clear.
“We decided this was a good place to make family first,” Paul said.
Paul’s two youngest children are enrolled in Churubusco schools, and his oldest son, a senior at Canterbury, will finish his hoops career where he’s spent the past three years.
“He’s embraced Canterbury and has been there for three years now,” Paul said. “It’s a good place for him. If he wasn’t a senior, we would probably consider transferring him to Churubusco.”
His eighth grader will play on ’Busco’s football team and his daughter is ready to begin fourth grade this week.
Paul was able to hold several open gym practices this summer.
“I’ve been very impressed with the work ethic and turnout we’ve had, even with open gyms at 7:45 a.m.,” Paul said. “They are very receptive and I have a sense this is a great group of kids.”
After 21 years of coaching at IPFW, Paul said he’s adjusting to his new position well.
“Whenever you’ve spent as long as I did at once place, everything is new,” Paul said. “I’ve been learning where to turn the lights on and learning all the players names and what year they are, but it’s been going well.”
Senior Dakota Barkley said he and his teammates are looking forward to fresh ideas from the new coach.
“I think it’ll be great for us,” Barkley said.
Paul said one of the most encouraging things early on has been the players’ love of the game.
“Twenty minutes after practice, they’re still hanging around the gym,” Paul said. “I’ve been around enough to know — if they sprint out, it’s not good. But if they hang around, they love what they’re doing.”