Renzelmann, a 2004 graduate from the school, replaces Hansen
When Garrett Renzelmann began coaching the junior varsity girls basketball team at South, he become interested in running the program at his alma mater someday.
“When I got my first taste of coaching at the high school level, being on the bench for the varsity games then, right away I was hooked,” the 2004 graduate said. “This was something I really wanted to do, get to that level.”
Renzelmann was recently hired to replace Ellyn Hansen, who more or less was filling the void after she took over for Sandy Botham before the start of last season. He was Hansen’s assistant last season and was the Redwings’ JV coach from 2014-’18.
Renzelmann says he has a knowledge of the school and program, and it also helped his cause having coached the Junior Redwings.
So what is his plan at South?
“Bring an energy, a positivity to help build the program to the point where it’s very strong,” Renzelmann said. “Not even necessarily in terms of wins or losses, but in terms of numbers and kind of the chemistry and cohesiveness we have as a program – all the way from youth levels through varsity.
“I think that’s something that has been a challenge in recent years at South. We’re consistently struggling for numbers and we want to work at building those up, to the point where then by being able to have more numbers and talent on the floor, we can become more successful on the scoreboard.”
When it comes to his scheme on offense or defense, Renzelmann says it will depend and he is a firm believer of adapting things at the high school level to fit your personnel.
“You’ve kind of got to go with the hand you’re dealt, to an extent,” he said. “So some years, we might be a little more up-tempo. Some years we might be a little more deliberate with our pace. We’ll look different than the past couple of years. We’ll probably run a more guard-orientated offense this season.
“Defensively, we’ll play some man-to-man and throw some zones at teams to switch things up. We’ll look to really make teams work on the offensive end.”
South started 3-0 last season for the first time in 12 years and finished with a 6-17 record after winning just one game the previous season.
The new coach says three of his five seniors will be on their fourth varsity season, and the team – as well as himself – grew over the winter.
“(Hansen) gave me some opportunities to kind of step into some of the head coaching responsibilities and duties, maybe some of the behind the scenes things,” Renzelmann said. “So I would have a really good feel for what it would take if I were to get the position.”