PREP HOOPS: After 19 years, Coach Marty Beasley still learning, adapting
When asked if there was one thing he could tell himself 19 years ago as a rookie head coach at Garrett, Marty Beasley didn’t hesitate much.
“You got to pick and choose your battles,” the current Carroll coach said. “When you’re young, you’re dumb.”
Nearly two decades later, Beasley is better in tune with what to say and not say on the sideline. He’s also pretty darn good at his job, evidenced by the 257 career victories and recently becoming the winningest coach in Carroll boys basketball history with 188 wins, surpassing Kent Lochmueller (186 wins in 16 seasons).
“I really liked Garrett and appreciated what they did for me,” said Beasley, who coached the Railroaders from 1999-2005. “I enjoyed those years, but Carroll was always on my radar and it was a no-brainer when it opened up.”
What has changed the most from 1999 at Garrett to 2018 at Carroll?
“Today’s kids have changed so much, so coaches have to change also,” Beasley said. “But you can’t change to the point where you sacrifice your beliefs and expectations of kids. You still have to compete and play together and be accountable.”
Beasley also admitted to some missteps over the years.
“There was one official in the area that I rode a little too hard early in my career,” Beasley said. “He was not very good at the time, now is one of our best officials.
“He is not as bad as he was and I’m not the idiot I was.”
Beasley reminisces about his 13 seasons at Carroll as if he is looking retrospectively at a completed coaching career, although it is far from over. The Chargers have never won less than eight games in a season under Beasley, with nine of his 12 years seeing the team reach double digits in wins.
“The 2009-10 year stands out,” said Beasley, whose team was led that season by the likes of Shane Merryman, Stephen Jones, and Tyler Ault. “We got a regional championship and also went down to Zionsville (in December) and won that tournament.”
Merryman has since joined the staff and has helped Beasley in an unforeseen way.
“I am more relaxed now,” Beasley said. “Shane keeps things light.”
Beasley also fondly remembers his second season at Carroll. After a loss to DeKalb in early February that dropped their record to 9-6, the Chargers won eight in a row to capture a sectional title.
Of course, the years coaching Chandler White and Kyle Mallers stand out as well.
“People are going to remember the legacies that were good in terms of buying into the team game, and those two were unselfish and played hard with energy and effort,” Beasley said. “Those guys sacrificed a lot. Along with Jeremy Kalonji, they were fun.”
This year’s team has the opportunity to make some memories as well. Carroll stands at 11-2 heading into Friday’s game against Snider, with a pair of two-point losses to Wayne and Homestead the only blemishes.
“We keep getting better,” Beasley said. “We have bought into defending again. Our seniors are doing an awesome job leading and holding people accountable.”
The two losses sustained by the team have been educational, even for the longtime coach.
“We did not do a very good job as a coaching staff leading up to those games or adjustments in the game,” Beasley said. “We learned what our kids can and cannot do. That is part of the game.”
Still learning after 19 years.