Prep girls basketball: Lincoln hires O'Leary as coach

Prep girls basketball: Lincoln hires O'Leary as coach

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Prep girls basketball: Lincoln hires O'Leary as coach

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Reedsville native Ryan O’Leary has been chosen as the new girls basketball coach at Manitowoc Lincoln.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to coach high school basketball at the highest level in a school that has a strong connection with the community. I was fortunate enough in the past to play and coach in communities that had similar qualities. It is very exciting for me to be part of a program that has athletes eager to put in the effort it takes to win championships,” said O’Leary in a press release.

Most of O’Leary’s coaching experience came as an assistant boys basketball coach for Pete Kittel at Brillion and as the Lions’ head girls basketball coach from 2007-2011. He has also coached in the AAU Girls Basketball Legends Program since 2009.

O’Leary built a solid girls program at Brillion. In four seasons he led the Lions to a 72-26 record and an Olympian Conference Championship in 2009-10. That season he also led Brillion to the WIAA Regional and Sectional Championships and an appearance at the Kohl Center in Madison at the WIAA State Girls Basketball Tournament. In 2010-11 he again led the Lions to a WIAA Regional Championship. The 45-37 Regional Championship victory over Chilton occurred in the JFK Fieldhouse at Lincoln.

“We are very pleased to add Ryan to our coaching staff at Lincoln,” said Athletic Director John Johnson in a press release. “During the interview process is was very clear that he has an unbelievable passion for the game of basketball, but more importantly he cares about his players and their experience more than he cares about winning.”

O’Leary’s initial plans for the program revolve around one word, excitement.

“I want our kids to be excited to play the game. I want them to enjoy learning and improving,” O’Leary explained. “I want our students, faculty, parents and community to be excited about our program because we represent all of them. I would like every player that goes through our program to leave feeling like these were some of the best time of their lives and have memories that last a lifetime.”

O’Leary gives credit to the coaches he played for and coached with for influencing his love for working with student-athletes and his love for the game.

“Steve Brooks was my high school coach at Reedsville and showed me everything there is to love about the game of basketball and Pete Kittel helped show me the way to building a successful program when I was lucky enough to be his assistant for four years at Brillion,” O’Leary added. “Dave Johnson has also played an integral role in shaping who I am as a coach today.”

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