Coach busy dishing out lessons on and off the court

September 29, 2023 — by Bill Huang and Bryan Zhao
Photo by Jeremy Si
History teacher Jerry Sheehy coaches the  boys’ JV basketball as rebuilding efforts continue, giving valuable life lessons both in and out of class.

As the entire JV basketball team watched, special education teacher Danny Wallace and history teacher Jerry Sheehy demonstrated post moves and box out drills in the schools’ large gym. This was all thanks to Wallace’s coach 20 years ago when he was a standout player at the school — Sheehy himself.

This is the ninth year Sheehy will be coaching the team. After coming to Saratoga High, he was the JV head coach and varsity assistant coach for 7 years straight before he took a gap coaching outside teams like National Junior Basketball.

 “I have two sons, so I’ve always coached them for basketball and other sports from when they were little to now so I didn’t stop coaching sports,” said Sheehy. 

He recently came back last year as the JV head coach because his son, Cole Sheehy, entered the school as a freshman. Having known many of the current students who played on the same outside team as his son since elementary school, Sheehy has found it easier to build strong connections between him and his players.

“It was more special because a lot of the kids that I’m coaching this year I’ve known since they were quite young, maybe four to five years old,” Sheehy said. “So there’s guys on the team that I’ve known for a long time.”

Although Sheehy has been teaching for almost 25 years here, he said he started coaching to become closer to the game of basketball, a sport he has always loved. Coaching has also allowed him to make closer bonds with the players, many of whom were either in or had taken his class before. 

Usually, he sees kids in a class anywhere from three hours to four and a half hours a week, but in basketball season, he often sees his players 15 hours a week between open gyms and other training activities..

Sheehy has helped JV improve on both their physicality and mentality toward the game. With all of the freshmen on the team experiencing high school basketball for the first time, Sheehy has been working hard to help prepare the freshman for the upcoming rigorous season by hosting open gyms and weightlifting sessions throughout the summer and the start of the school year. 

He has also emphasized the difference between a classroom and being a part of a team. To Sheehy, a team is “being part of something bigger than just yourself,” as players form close bonds with their teammates and spend a lot of time with each other.

“Sheehy has helped us feel welcomed to high school basketball,” freshman Noah Nguyen said. “He has also shown us the hard work and dedication we have to put in in order to become successful in the upcoming high school season.” 

Working with varsity coach and history teacher Mike Davey, Sheehy hopes to continue coaching for at least a few more years with the goal of winning CCS championships. 

“Saratoga is often underestimated,” Sheehy said. “Whether it’s coaching JV or assisting on varsity, I would love to see Saratoga get back to that place where we’re shocking people, putting up league championships and upsetting teams and winning CSS.”

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