Blaine Clardy took over as head coach of the Atchison girls basketball team in May.
Clardy was actually a student teacher at Atchison High School about eight years ago and said he took a liking to the whole town’s environment.
“I really just fell in love with the community,” Clardy said. “I enjoyed the people and the kids.”
Clardy was an assistant coach at the St. Joseph Central girls team this previous season and actually had a chance to see his future landing spot while scouting another team.
“We scouted against a team that played Atchison and I saw some athleticism,” Clardy said. “I saw a lot of good things that could be easily worked with. Just a matter of changing the culture and mindset.”
Clardy has been able to gain some experience coaching the Lady Red in the summer league and said their grit and toughness has stood out.
“They’re really kind of willing to jump in and get into a fight with most teams,” Clardy said. “They don’t back down from a lot and that is something that can’t be taught.”
Clardy said he hopes to instill a culture of trust and heart.
“Just the mindset of believing in each other and the team,” Clardy said. “Also being tough and never really thinking that you’re ever really out of anything.”