Moseman replaces Wright as varsity basketball coach

BERNE — Tim Moseman wants a fresh start.

Moseman, the new varsity basketball coach at Berne-Knox-Westerlo, says that he didn’t know about Andy Wright’s firing until two administrators interviewed him for the open position last month, and that the controversy is none of his business. (The BKW School Board has not said why it did not reappoint the popular long-time coach, despite public outcry.)

After being out of the high school game for a few years — he coached Ballston Spa for the better part of a decade — Moseman wanted to coach a varsity team again. The BKW job fell into his lap.

“The job wasn’t really on my radar, but it popped up,” Moseman, a physical education teacher at Ballston Spa High School, said this week. “I called up to their athletic director, and he called back, so I submitted my application.”

BKW started basketball tryouts this week, but the newly hired junior-varsity coach, Jayme Bates, quit. Interim Superintendent Lonnie Palmer said on Wednesday that Bates bailed on the coaching position over the weekend; it wasn’t going to coincide with his work schedule, he said.

Palmer said that the junior-varsity position has now been filled by Ryan Larson, who used to coach basketball at Greenwich. The modified job was also vacant, but Ryan VanNostrand was appointed this week, Palmer said. Earlier, VanNostrand was appointed as an assistant to the varsity.

The Bulldogs’ basketball program has been on pins and needles since Wright was let go.

Moseman knows that some of Wright’s former players are disappointed that they lost their coach, but he’s coming in to build the team up. “I hope it works out,” he said. “I love teaching the game, no matter who the kids are. The kids will learn a lot about basketball, and it’s my job to make them realize their goals.”

A former player for Green Mountain College, Moseman, 46, has extensive experience with basketball. He’s served as a coach for the Albany City Rocks, Albany Patroons, Schenectady County Community College, and has run his own basketball camp.

Moseman resigned from his Ballston Spa coaching position to coach for the Albany Patroons and SCCC, only to come back to the Ballston Spa varsity team for two more years before resigning again for family obligations, he said. When he decided to coach again, Moseman wanted to find a smaller school with more of a family atmosphere, he said.

“Basketball is huge at BKW,” said Moseman. The sport at BKW dates back to 1934. “I don’t know the kids yet,” he said. “But, I’m going in to move forward; I’m not going backwards. I’ll coach them the best that I can.”

Moseman is the first basketball coach at BKW to not be previously associated with the school or the surrounding community. He lives in Ballston Spa, and says that, after he left his post there, someone from out of town was hired to coach.

“Today’s education has changed, and it seems that coaching has changed, too,” Moseman said. “There are more outsiders coming in than five or six years ago. But, at a smaller school, I could see how it’s always insiders.”

Moseman told The Enterprise that the BKW players wouldn’t have a true opinion of him for at least three or four weeks.

“I think that I’m a very good coach, so the kids should respect that,” he said. “Every kid should feel important, weak or strong. We’re going to reach some goals down the road.”

Moseman said that he likes Wright as a person and as a coach, and upon reading about his situation after being interviewed for the BKW job, he shook his head. “It’s not my right to ask about it,” he said. “I wish Andy the best, and it must hurt to move on from here, but he’ll land on his feet.”

Wright is coaching at the junior-varsity level for Middleburgh.

“No one said that coming here would be a bad idea,” Moseman concluded. “All I want to do is continue BKW’s success.”