Photos courtesy of Byron Hardward
Adam Wardenburg, assistant coach for the Utah Valley University women’s basketball team, grew up around the game of basketball. His father, John, has coached at multiple levels of the game, including being an assistant at BYU and the head coach at Indian Hills Community College, one of the premiere junior colleges in the nation. Watching his father coach influenced Wardenburg’s decision to go into coaching.
“After every one of his games or my games we would sit down and talk,” said Wardenburg. “He would ask me what I would’ve done differently and I would ask him what he would do, so I just grew up learning the game.”
Already, Wardenburg has had opportunities to coach at multiple locations. He spent time coaching at the College of Southern Idaho before coming to the UVU women’s staff, where he’s currently in his second year.
His experiences with his father, as well as other coaches, continue to impact his style today. He has been able to learn how to treat players and deal with difficult situations.
“I’ve seen coaches get up and yell at people and I’ve seen coaches try to be calm. I’ve witnessed many things that have really influenced everything I try to do,” said Wardenburg.
When he watched his father interact with his players, Wardenburg realized that certain forces, namely love and trust, could build the bond between a coach and his team. It is something that Wardenburg believes make the team more effective.
“He showed me that you have to love your kids unconditionally if you want them to do what you want them to do. He tried to really love every single one of his players and treat them like they were one of his kids and that really grew on me,” Wardenburg said. “If a kid trusts you and believes that you have faith in them then they’ll run through a brick wall for you.”
Wardenburg has taken those experiences to heart, making sure he gets to know his players beyond just the game being played on the court.
“I try to get to know them on a personal basis and try to know things that are going on in their lives so they can see that I really care about them,” he said.
For Adam Wardenburg, it doesn’t whether the Wolverines win every game. What matters is getting better as a team and having a positive influence on the women he works with each day.
I grew up on a farm in Burley, Idaho, but I’ve always had an intense love of sports. I’m studying journalism in an attempt to turn my love into a career. I’m a huge Utah Jazz, Tennessee Titans, and San Jose Sharks fan. If it’s a sport, I’ll watch it.