Brandon Mauer tabbed as new boys basketball coach at Pittsfield High
The Pittsfield boys basketball team has a new head coach, and the Generals didn't have to go very far to find the right candidate.
The school announced on Tuesday that former assistant coach Brandon Mauer will lead the Generals this winter.
Mauer, 29, replaces Steve Ray as the head man for the Generals. The former St. Joseph basketball player spent six years as an assistant on Ray's staff. Ray amassed a 82-45 record, including a Western Massachusetts Division II final appearance in 2016.
Prior to becoming an assistant coach, Mauer began his college basketball career at Le Moyne College, before transferring to Westfield State University. He spent two years playing for the Owls, earning All-MASCAC honors his junior year. Mauer tied the Westfield State record with nine made three-pointers in a game and has the outright record in three-pointers attempted in a game (23), both against Paul Smith's in 2008.
Upon his retirement, Ray said he hoped to keep the job in-house among one of his former assistants.
"We talked a while back when I first started in the program that [becoming a head coach] was something that I might want to do," Mauer said. "I was 22 when I started; luckily, it worked out that way.
"I put in the time. Thank goodness the program chose me. I was really excited when they did."
Having spent the last six year as an assistant, Mauer said he's not expecting much of an adjustment period for this year's team. Longtime coach and assistant Bob Shade will remain on staff, adding more experience to the coaching group.
"Luckily most of the guys know me," Mauer said. "They know what to expect. It won't be much of an adjustment, other than passing along what I believe the vision of the program should be."
While the players might not need to familiarize themselves with Mauer's presence, he said he does want to change the on-court playing style of the program. The Generals won just seven games last season, but their new coach said the team has potential.
"It'll be a complete revamp in terms of X's and O's," he said. "My mission in terms of X's and O's is based on what I have coming in. I know that this could be one of the strongest teams that we've ever had."
In addition to coaching under Ray, Mauer said his former coach, New England Basketball Hall of Famer Billy DiNicola, is one of several coaching influences.
Mauer added that his time spent playing basketball in Berkshire County allowed him to develop his skills as a post player, before expanding his game as a guard in college. He said his experience at positions all over the court will allow him to teach the game from a unique perspective.
"I'm just very thankful and I praise God that I got this opportunity," he said. "Steve [Ray] gave me the opportunity as a 22-year-old kid to help develop as a man. It's made me the person I am today. I'm pretty content with how things have gone in life."
Reach sports writer Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252 or @TheAkeemGlaspie.
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