Brandon Polesky graduated from Sleepy Eye Public and has carried his passion for the game through coaching. His love for the game has earned him a premium coaching position at SMSU.
Brandon Polesky graduated from Sleepy Eye High School as a top of the class student and a stellar three-sport athlete. Brandon was named All-Conference for football, basketball, and baseball. It should come as no surprise that 2014 Tomahawk Conference Basketball Player of the Year has found success in life after his high school career. Polesky is now continuing his basketball career as an Assistant Coach for the Southwest Minnesota State University Mustangs in Marshall, MN. As with many success stories, Polesky’s road to success has come with its ups and downs.
Brandon graduated from Sleepy Eye Public and began his collegiate career at Gustavus. Despite his basketball playing career being cut short due to concussions, Polesky raved about his time as a Gustie.
Polesky found himself in a bind after being given the news he wasn’t able to play the game he loved most. That is until Coach Hanson and Coach DeGrood at Gustavus offered Polesky a position on their coaching staff as a student assistant. “I had a phenomenal experience at Gustavus and I am grateful for the chance I was given to be able to be student assistant coach for my final two seasons.” Polesky also thanked his two coaches for giving him such a righteous opportunity. “Coach Hanson and Coach DeGrood giving me that chance allowed me to greatly shape myself into where I am today.” Polesky credits Hanson and his 28 years of coaching experience in being very beneficial to where he is at now.
As Brandon graduated from Gustavus with a degree in Physical Education, he was wondering what would be next. While student-teaching at Lake Crystal-Welcome-Memorial high school, Polesky received a text. A text from SMSU Head Coach Brad Bigler. Bigler was checking up on Brandon and the type of plans he had for his career after graduation. It was then when Bigler informed Brandon that one of Bigler’s assistants had left to take a job at Utah State, freeing up a position on his staff.
Polesky credited he and Bigler’s relationship to their days back when he would attend basketball camps at SMSU in his youth. The same camps Brandon now runs in his time at SMSU. “I would shoot him a text just to congratulate him or wish him luck during the season, just to keep in touch,” Polesky says of Bigler. “Staying connected ultimately had an impact of him reaching out to me and offering me the job.”
Polesky’s new position warrants a lot of hard work and discipline. He often finds himself working 12 hour days doing a culmination of things each day. “My typical day is watching a lot of film, creating scouting reports, contacting recruits, practice and game-planning, and responding to e-mails from high school and AAU coaches about potential recruits.” In addition to these daily coaching duties, Polesky is also chasing his Master’s degree from SMSU.
Polesky also finds himself doing a lot of the work fans do not see behind the scenes. Each week Brandon has to create a paper and video scouting report of the Mustangs’ upcoming opponents. “I will watch game film of all of their games and come up with a game plan of how to guard certain players and offensive plays.” Polesky is also the lead recruiter for the 2020 class as well as recruiting players at the junior college level. Brandon also coordinates workouts for the team’s redshirt freshman while setting up hotel and bus times for road games.
Polesky also reflected on his previous coaching experiences and being very grateful he was given the chance. “Shane Heiderscheidt and Ryan Hulke allowed me to help coach the girls at a young age.” Polesky certainly had a part in the 2017-18 success that found the Sleepy Eye girls taking second place in the Class A State Tournament last March.
Polesky also gave credit for former coach Scott Hadley and Kory Kettner. “Coach Kettner had enough faith in me to allow me to be the head coach of the 16u Boys D1 Minnesota Rise AAU Basketball team.” The MN Rise competes against the top programs and prospects in the entire Midwest. Polesky was not shy to give his parents some love for all of their support over the years. “My mom was always so loving and supporting of me,” he says. “My dad coached me my entire life from kindergarten through my senior year,” he said of the former long-time Indians basketball coach. “He has taught me so much about the game of basketball and I cannot thank him enough.”
Polesky hopes the opportunity coach Bigler has given him at SMSU will allow him to receive his Master’s degree and ultimately become a Head Coach at a college or university some day. Polesky enjoys being around student-athletes that are motivated to excel in the classroom and on the basketball court. “I love being able to evaluate and analyze prospective athletes and recruiting the type of young men that I want to be apart of my program at SMSU.”
Polesky recently brought two of his current players to Sleepy Eye Elementary as the Mustang trio led an all day basketball camp with students K-6 as they filed into their gym class.
Polesky, along with coaches Brad Bigler, Nick Smith, and the Mustangs basketball team are hosting three mini-basketball camps in December. Camp dates include Dec. 2, Dec. 9, and Dec. 16. Grades K, 2, 4, and 6 are from 1:00-2:30 p.m. while grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8 are from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Attending the camps allows the participating children to have free admission into SMSU home games, a Mustangs t-shirt, an SMSU basketball, an autograph session with the team, and the option to participate at four halftimes of Mustang basketball games.
Brandon and the Mustangs begin their season Friday, Nov. 9 against Emporia State of Kansas at 6 p.m. in Marshall.