New JM girls basketball coach Waring appreciating latest opportunity
Maxx Waring, 26, is the John Marshall girls basketball team's new head coach. He replaces Phil Schroeder, who retired following nine strong seasons on the job.
ROCHESTER — Maxx Waring would love to be the next Ron Brown.
Or at the very least, John Marshall’s latest girls basketball coach wants to be remindful of his former Centralia High School (Centralia, Wash.) Hall of Fame boys basketball coach.
So the 26-year-old keeps checking in with his old boss, who’s now 87, making sure he’s on the right track with his coaching methods.
“I call him after every practice,” Waring said of Brown, who won 722 games and two state championships during his 56-year coaching career, but was just as highly regarded for his calm demeanor, integrity, people skills and consistent approach.
“Ron Brown inspired me to be a coach,” Waring said. “He was so calm and he always had a plan. You need to have a plan and you need to stick with it. I try to teach the same lessons that he did. I use some of the same ideas that he did on offense and I do a lot of the same basics that he did in practices.”
Though just 26, Waring is already a bit of a coaching veteran. This is his sixth season as a high school basketball coach, those first five in his home state of Washington. He directed boys teams for four years and spent one season as a girls basketball assistant coach.
At John Marshall, he takes over a program that for the past nine seasons had been led by Phil Schroeder. Schroeder finished his tenure with a sparkling 166-82 record, two Big Nine Conference titles and five 20-win seasons.
Schroeder’s Rockets were 21-8 last season, but graduated All-State center Lilly Meister and All-Big Nine guard Katie Hurt, both of them five-year varsity players.
Waring and his fiance, Julia Carter, moved to Rochester in May, with Carter taking on a residency position at Mayo Clinic. Waring got wind of the JM opening after seeing it advertised.
Never one to spend a winter without basketball, he didn’t want to start now. So, he inquired about the job, got an interview and was hired in June, also taking on a math teaching job at JM.
So far, things have been so good for the Washington native.
“This is going well,” Waring said. “Rochester is the best town I’ve ever lived in. That’s especially true in terms of the schools. John Marshall is the best school I’ve worked at. Kids do their work here, you don’t have to get on them, and there is more school spirit.”
Waring has inherited a team with plenty of questions. There is no true star returning after the graduation of Meister and Hurt. But there are some solid players, including returning starters and twins, Sarah and Stacie Mullenbach, both of them guards.
There seems to be a star in the making in eighth-grader Jazmin Daing. When asked what the 5-foot-10 guard does well, Waring said, “Everything.”
Waring is appreciating this opportunity to be back doing what he loves, coaching. He’s also taken an immediate liking to these Rockets.
“I really like this team,” Waring said. “These girls are very nice and very coachable. It’s just a really nice group.”