Greatness is measured by longevity and success. After 34 years and now approaching his 600th victory, GCC basketball coach Brian Beauchemin has lived up to that definition.
There is only one other active coach in California with more wins than Beauchemin. He is currently second overall in longevity and fifth overall in wins in the state.
From playing for Notre Dame High School in 1962, to later coaching Notre Dame at 23, basketball has not only been his passion, but his life. Basketball to him is more about a brotherhood than X’s and O’s
“I really enjoy the brotherhood basketball creates,” said Beauchemin. “The players, the practices, molding a team and the challenges I face day in and day out is what it’s all about.”
Forming relationships between players and coaches can be difficult to do, especially in a community college where players are only eligible for two seasons. However, the coach has thrived under those circumstances. By forming meaningful relationships with players have been one of his strong suits.
“He helps you out whenever you need it, he has always been very supportive,” said co-captain Alex Bullock. “Coach has been a great mentor and has always been there for me, be it adding classes and pushing me to be the best I can be.”
According to co-captain Mike Johnson, Beauchemin can get on players, but he also is always there for them as a friend. Johnson says most of the players consider Beauchemin a father figure. It’s that type of bond combined with his win total that makes the coach one of the elite.
“A lot of players are looking for me to be the father figure away from home,” said Beauchemin. “I am glad I can be a substitute parental figure and I try to be as helpful as I can.”
Players respond to Beauchemin’s leadership and together they achieve a common goal of team first basketball.
Buying into the program and caring more about the name on the front of the jersey and not the name on the back is what Beauchemin strives to achieve with his players. These players are willing to sacrifice their personal stats to buy into the team first mentality.
Basketball has been a big a part of Beauchemin’s life; when he isn’t coaching, he is recruiting.He spends his time watching film and keeping up with the evolution of basketball. This has made basketball not just a game for Beauchemin, but a lifestyle.
“It’s amazing how he [Beauchemin] has been coaching for so long, but yet can relate to players and stays current with all basketball trends,” said assistant coach Asatur Bagaryan. “He has a natural leadership ability that one can’t learn; either you are born with it or you’re not. A natural born communicator and leader.”
Beauchemin thinks that he wouldn’t have coached as long if he didn’t have the talent around him and the support from GCC. He also credits his longevity to a bit of superstition.
The GCC coach once had a 10 game winning streak when he parked in the same spot before every game. On the day of the eleventh game he came to campus and found someone parked there. He asked them to move and then won his eleventh game in a row.
“I try and not let superstition get the best of me, but I still look for pennies on the floor during game days,” Beauchemin said. “If it’s heads up, then I’ll pick it up; lucky pennies always help me.”
Glendale and the basketball team hopes that Beauchemin continues his victorious tradition for many years to come.