New Baldwin High School basketball coach
Haas ‘excited’ about Bulldogs
It's his first shot at a head coaching position and newly named Baldwin High School basketball coach Jeff Haas is more than ready for the challenge.
"I'm excited to come down to Baldwin," said Haas. "I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait to get started."
Haas is a 1994 University of Kansas graduate and also earned his Master's Degree from Baker University. He is a Shawnee Mission South graduate, as well.
That's also where Haas' coaching experience comes from the Kansas City area. For the last two years he's been the junior varsity coach and varsity assistant at Turner High School in Kansas City, Kan. Prior to that he spent four seasons at Shawnee Mission West coaching sophomores and freshmen. He also coached one year at Ruskin in Kansas City, Mo.
During that tenure he's had the opportunity to learn from some of the best high school basketball coaches in the state. Ben Meseke, current coach at Northwest who was at Topeka Hayden prior to that, has won several state championships. Terry Marshall at Turner has coached more than 30 years. Stuart Wartman at West is another high-level coach Haas has studied under.
Those coaches also taught different styles, so the new BHS coach believes he can teach almost any style and will see what the Bulldogs have before choosing an offense to run.
"I certainly think it depends a lot on the strength of your personnel," said Haas. "The styles I've learned are extremely diverse. I think I'm prepared to coach in a variety of tempos. I've been exposed to a lot of different styles."
He said Meseke liked a controlled tempo and Wartman and up tempo, with Marshall in between. It's also a flexible area for him.
"I like to start off coaching what I call a mid-temp," said Haas. "From there, based on what's going on in the game, you can take a half-step down to slow it down or a half-step up to go faster. I'll have to see what our talents are."
He'll get a look pretty quick, too. He met with the team for the first time Tuesday night. He's tentatively set July 9-13 for a BHS basketball camp from 10 a.m. to noon each day. That's not set in concrete yet, but will likely be the dates. He's looking forward to getting his first glimpse at the BHS talent.
"Absolutely," said Haas. "I do well with some familiarity. It'll give the kids a chance to get to know me and for me to get to know them.
"If we're all wise, we'll take advantage of that to come together as a group," he said.
Haas takes over the Baldwin High program from Bobby Taul, who resigned in May to accept the Topeka Hayden coaching job. Taul guided the program for four years and finished third in the Class 4A State Tournament a year ago. This year's team was eliminated in sub-state play.
Coach Troy Webb, the JV and assistant head coach for Taul, will remain in those roles for Haas. Paul Thompson, who has been the freshman coach the last two years, will be leaving after football season and won't be around for the basketball season.
"Coach Webb is going to be one of the coaches," said Haas. "I'm still looking for another coach. I'm excited to have coach Webb."