EDISON — Eugene Maxwell knows it won’t be easy, but he certainly isn’t intimidated by the task of rebuilding the Wardlaw-Hartridge boys’ basketball program.
The veteran coach, who was hired last week and introduced to his new players on Sept. 24, will take over as the school’s new head coach for the 2013-2014 season. Although official practice sessions don’t begin until Dec. 2, Maxwell encouraged the Rams to start preparing for the season.
“I really tried to get them a little bit fired-up before the season,” Maxwell said. “I stress getting prepared before the season begins. You have to be ready mentally and physically.”
Maxwell served as the head boys’ varsity basketball coach at Summit High School from 1999 to 2012. His teams won two sectional titles in North Jersey 2, Group 2 and lost twice to Haddonfield in the state finals. He was named Union County Coach of the Year in 2005 and has coached 12 college basketball players, including two Division 1 athletes.
Although Wardlaw-Hartridge is a smaller school competing in a different league, Maxwell maintains the same philosophy. He’s prepared to adapt his style to the talents and strengths of his new team.
“It’s challenging at any level and you want your players to develop on and off the court, both with fundamentals and as better young men,” he said. “The challenge of coaching is the same no matter where you are. If our individuals get better and we have good discipline and fundamentals, we’ll get better as a team.”
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