Long-time high school boys basketball coach Brad Bjorkgren has been named the next men’s basketball coach at Simpson College, Director of Athletics Brian Niemuth announced Wednesday.
Bjorkgren, a Simpson alum, served as the head coach at Urbandale High School for 27 seasons, winning nearly 400 games, nine Central Iowa Metropolitan League (CIML) Championships and appearing in seven Class 4A State Tournaments. Bjorkgren takes over for Charles Zanders, who resigned in 2015 after five seasons.
“Today marks a new beginning for our men’s basketball program,” Niemuth said. “Brad’s experience and leadership are exactly what our program needs right now. He is a proven winner who has deep ties to the college, and we are excited to have him leading our program.”
Bjorkgren graduated from Simpson in 1983 with degrees in business management and physical education. He was a two-year letterwinner for the basketball team, earning Second Team all-Iowa Conference honors after the 1982-83 season.
“I’ve had a great love for Simpson ever since my time as a student,” Bjorkgren said. “This is my dream job at the collegiate level. I’m honored that Coach Niemuth and the administration have given me this opportunity.”
In his 27 seasons at Urbandale, Bjorkgren went 398-213. He earned CIML Coach of the Year honors eight times, district coach of the year seven times and took home Class 4A State Coach of the Year honors in 2000. In 2013, Bjorkgren won the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association’s (IBCA) Don Logan Service Award for his ongoing commitment to the sport. He was the president of the IBCA from 2002-03 and has served on the executive board since 1998.
In addition to coaching more than 100 all-conference performers, Bjorkgren coached 20 all-state honorees. Among those all-state performers is Iowa’s 2001 Mr. Basketball, Tyler McKinney. The J-Hawks finished as the Class 4A runner-up in 2001, placed third in 1997 and fourth in 2007.
Bjorkgren began his career at Urbandale in 1983, serving as assistant boys basketball coach for five seasons before taking over as head coach in 1988. During that time he also served as a business education instructor, computer applications instructor and School to Work Coordinator. Bjorkgren’s nephew, Nate Bjorkgren, is the current head coach for the NBA D-League’s Bakersfield Jam.
Photo courtesy: Conrad Schmidt