Ascent to the Top


Head coach Brock Blansit advises his team during a time out.

It may be the athletes who score, but behind every win is a talented coaching staff. This year, Brock Blansit is the head coach of the Nixa boys basketball team, and his leadership has carried the team to capture many wins. Blansit assumed the position after longtime head coach Jay Osborne left the district last year. With 25 years of experience as an assistant coach, almost 20 of those years being at Nixa, Blansit said the transition to the head coach position was relatively smooth.

   “… [I had] been the assistant [coach] at Nixa for, I think, 19 years,” Blansit said. “… My responsibility hasn’t changed a whole lot. Coach Osborne used to give me a lot of responsibilities to do, which is pretty much what I’m currently doing now. So when [I became head coach], I was ready for the job…”

   Assistant coach Andrew Boyce has coached alongside Blansit for 16 years. Boyce said Blansit has many strengths as a head coach.

   “It is hard to just pinpoint just one strength, but I feel like he is not only very knowledgeable about the game but also a great communicator,” Boyce said. “He can relate with our players, and I feel like that connection has greatly impacted our program’s success.”

   With his years of experience, Blansit has seen the ups and downs of basketball. His coaching philosophy is a good reminder for his players and all athletes amidst the competitiveness of high school sports.

   “I think we, myself included, get so hung up on wins and losses and trying to win the next game that we forget that we started playing sports because it was fun – whether it’s football, tennis, baseball or soccer,” Blansit said. “I want them when they get out of our program, [to be] glad they played because it was enjoyable.”

   Senior Carsten Seitz said Blansit’s coaching style makes the season more enjoyable.

   “He really lets us play and takes the pressure off us as players…” Seitz said. “He preaches to us that he wants us to have fun, and he makes it as fun as possible. … He has done a great job so far.”

   Blansit also emphasizes the importance of improvement throughout the season.

   “… We just try to get better every day,” Blansit said. “I know that’s kind of a cliché that every coach says, but it’s kinda true.”

   Seitz said Blansit is clear about his expectations for players.

   “He has specific things that he wants out of each and every player, and [he] makes it known that that’s what he wants and it motivates me to get after it,” Seitz said.

   Coaching basketball presents unique challenges due to the length of the season. Blansit tries to prevent the players from losing motivation as the season goes on.

   “Basketball’s a long season, it’s four months long, so trying to keep your kids excited about playing each day in practice and each game can be challenging,” Blansit said. “… You hope by the end of the year we can keep them motivated and playing their best basketball … when districts rolls around.”

   The boys basketball season has been marked by success, with the team achieving first place in the Gold bracket at the Blue and Gold Tournament for the first time since 2014. Blansit said the win was a season highlight.

   “Championship night we shot the ball so well,” Blansit said. “Those are really fun nights as a coach because those don’t happen all the time. We had some kids get hot, and that was fun and exciting for sure.”

   Good coaching is key for team success, but Blansit attributes the successful season to the collaboration of the players.

   “The team chemistry is awesome,” Blansit said. We have nine seniors, so they’ve kinda all been through this before, and I think they’re helping some of our younger kids along. … I think team chemistry’s been the biggest reason why we’ve had such a good start to the season.”

   The team chemistry applies to the coaching staff as well. Boyce said that he and Blansit work well together to lead the team.

   “We both share a lot of the same views, and I feel like he values my opinion on and off the basketball court,” Boyce said.

   Blansit said his favorite part of coaching is being surrounded by the energy of the players.

   “… Coaching will make you get old on some days, and some days I think it makes you get younger. It’s kind of an up and down whirlwind for four months, but I wouldn’t trade it for nothing.”