GARDEN CITY — Garden City Community College’s head men’s basketball coach Brady Trenkle resigned Friday, he told The Telegram.
He said he has accepted a job as an assistant at a four-year university, but declined to name the school “until it was official.”
The decision to move was a difficult one, Trenkle said Friday.
“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, there’s no question,” he said. “The players (at GCCC) made me second guess if this is the right thing to do. The timing being right when the school starts ... that made it hard.”
But it was an opportunity to move up a level in collegiate coaching that he could not pass up, and he said his players echoed that, as well.
“They said, ‘Coach, you’re just getting to the level we want to get to,’” Trenkle said his players told him when he announced his decision. “That made me feel good.”
Trenkle was 94-64 in five seasons as head coach at GCCC, and never recorded a losing season. His best overall record came in his first season, going 22-9 and finishing in a tie for third of eight teams in the KJCCC West.
Likely his best overall season, however, was last year’s 21-12 record, finishing in fifth of 14 KJCCC teams and reaching the Region VI tournament semifinals, falling to Coffeyville in a barnburner.
It was that loss that gave Trenkle pause in leaving GCCC, as well.
“Our goal is always a championship, and we were close last year,” Trenkle said. “It’s been eating me up since that loss to Coffeyville.”
But Trenkle said a coach he’s known for years and a coach who has recruited Trenkle’s players called him recently and asked him to fill an open assistant spot, and Trenkle couldn’t turn it down.
“I was content at the JUCO level, and I thought it was a good level for me,” he said. “I had an opportunity 11 years ago to move to a four-year university, and I didn’t feel like it was a good fit for me. But now it’s a perfect fit.”
Trenkle said he could have waited a couple of more weeks at GCCC while he waited for his new school to make the hiring official, but that he believed it was not fair to his players at GCCC and to the administration at GCCC to wait.
GCCC athletic director John Green was not immediately available for comment Friday.
Trenkle believes he’s leaving those players in the capable hands of his two assistants, Patrick Nee and Irwin Leal.
“Coach Nee and coach Leal are phenomenal,” he said.
And Trenkle endorsed Nee as the next GCCC head coach.
“He’s the guy, there’s no question,” he said. “When I’ve hired assistants, I’ve always hired a guy who can build on what I’ve established. Coach Nee has been a head coach before, and been a successful head coach.
“This team is filled with great kids and great players. I know they’ll be picked high in the preseason.”
The Busters return All-KJCCC first team player Jamir Thomas at the post, and one of the conference’s best 3-point shooters, Russhard Cruickshank.
“I told coach Nee, the team we’ve put together, you can go win the Jayhawk with, and he believes that,” Trenkle said.