Brad Vaught is sitting with his dream job. But he won’t tell anyone it’s going to be easy.
That’ll be especially true this first year.
The 51-year-old Vaught, who’s been an assistant boys basketball coach at Rochester John Marshall, Mayo and this past season at Stewartville, on Friday was hired as the head women’s basketball coach at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, Iowa.
Vaught also was the head coach of the Crossroads College men’s basketball team from 2007-2010.
Vaught inherits a Lady Trojans team that went 32-1 last season and was ranked No. 1 in NJCAA Division II before things were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NIACC job opened after Todd Ciochetto left to become head coach at Division I junior college Seward County CC in Kansas. Ciochetto went 153-46 in six seasons at NIACC, with three NJCAA Region XI titles.
Ciochetto didn’t only leave NIACC, but he took a bunch of his players with him. Just two remain from last year’s team.
And that, above all, is Vaught’s challenge.
“The day I got the job, I was already looking for players,” said Vaught, who’s lived in Rochester the past 12 years but grew up in Randolph. “And I’ve been doing it all day again (Saturday). I’ve got a lot of basketball scholarship money available. But I am going to have to get a roster together really fast. The trouble is, most kids already know what they’re going to do this coming year.”
Despite the immediate challenges in front of him, Vaught is elated to have the job. Two of the things he appreciates most in life will be available after having secured the NIACC job. They are helping young people as well as staying close to basketball.
“Those are my two biggest passions in life,” said Vaught, who’s been working as a mental-health practitioner in the Rochester public schools, but will have to end that as his new basketball job will become full time.
Vaught said he intends to commute the 90 miles from Rochester to Mason City this year, but that a move is likely after that.
He says he is inheriting a traditionally strong program in NIACC.
“NIACC is a nice school with really good facilities,” Vaught said. “They have had a lot of athletic success.”