Episode 30

Published on:

21st Jan 2021

Adam Cohen - Stanford Men's Basketball Associate Head Coach

Adam Cohen, recognized as one of the nation’s top young basketball coaches, has made a strong imprint in his first four seasons at Stanford. After serving as an assistant coach for the Cardinal his first two seasons, Cohen was elevated to Associate Head Coach prior to the 2018-19 season.

Cohen owns a decade of experience as a college basketball mentor, including eight as a collegiate coach. He enters his fifth season at Stanford in 2020-21, previously serving as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt (2014-16), Harvard (2013-14) and Rice (2012-13).

Leading all recruiting efforts for the Cardinal program, Cohen was instrumental in landing one of the best recruiting classes in school history for 2020. Stanford’s 2020 class was regarded by nearly all the recruiting services as a top-10 class, led by top-five signee Ziaire Williams, the highest-rated student-athlete in program history. 

Cohen has played an important role for a Stanford team that won 19 contests overall, finished third in the Pac-12 and won 11 conference games – its highest finish and most conference wins in 10 seasons – in 2018. The Cardinal earned a postseason berth for the first time in three years.

Regarded as one of the game’s rising young coaches, the NABC named Cohen to its prestigious 30-under-30 Team, recognizing the nation’s top assistant coaches, at the 2016 Final Four in Houston. He was invited to take part in the prestigious Athletic Director U’s Collegiate Coaching Consortium at the 2018 Final Four in San Antonio.

Cohen has a proven track record in developing point guards. Under Cohen’s tutelage, Max Guercy became the all-time assist leader at Rice, Siyani Chambers developed into a First Team All-Ivy League selection at Harvard, Wade Baldwin IV was an NBA first-round draft pick from Vanderbilt and Daejon Davis set the program’s freshman assist record and was an Pac-12 All-Freshman Team selection at Stanford. Along with Baldwin (Blazers), Cohen's roster of current NBA players he has helped develop also includes Luke Kornet (Knicks) and Damian Jones (Warriors). 

Cohen arrived on The Farm prior to the 2016-17 season, after serving as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt for two seasons. He helped guide the Commodores to 40 combined victories and postseason berths in his two years in Nashville. Vanderbilt won 19 games and reached the NCAA Tournament in 2015-16.

Prior to Vanderbilt, Cohen was an assistant coach at Harvard. During the 2013-14 campaign with the Crimson, he helped guide the program to its fourth straight Ivy League title, an NCAA Tournament appearance, and program records for overall victories (27) and conference wins (13). He helped develop several All-Ivy selections, including Player of the Year Wesley Saunders.

Cohen broke into coaching during the 2012-13 season, serving as an assistant coach at Rice. He oversaw the Owl’s recruiting efforts, where he recruited all-conference and all-academic selection Marcus Jackson. 

Cohen’s Pac-12 ties are deep, as a student manager at Arizona and the Director of Operations at USC. A 2008 graduate of Arizona with a degree in political science, Cohen served as a student manager and assistant video coordinator under Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson.

After a year as a graduate assistant at New Orleans, Cohen joined the staff at USC as the Trojans’ video coordinator. He was elevated to Director of Operations after just one year. Cohen spent three seasons at USC (2010-12) prior to joining the coaching staff at Rice. 

Cohen, who serves on the Board of Directors for Rising Coaches Elite, was appointed to the Coaching for Literacy Coaches Council in 2017. He has overseen several elite camps, including the 2007 Nike Basketball clinic in Chengdu, China.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Cohen attended Williamsville North High School, where he served as a captain for the Spartans basketball team.  Cohen and his wife, Danielle, were married in San Diego in May 2018.

Adam is another example of young coaches, especially from the 716, that are willing to share their story and inspire others. We could not be more thankful that you joined us to talk life Beyond the Ball!

Twitter - @coachadamcohen

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About the Podcast

Beyond the Ball
“Fueling your Faith and Family through Sport”
Welcome to the “Beyond the Ball” podcast with Coach Eric Klumpp and Coach Justin Gerstung, two basketball coaches here to celebrate the game of basketball, and all sport, with real discussions, with real coaches from all levels, that use their platform to serve others while finding balance off the court in their faith, with their families, and in their communities. Join us in celebrating the way YOU serve, love, and care.

About your hosts

Eric Klumpp

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Eric Klumpp is a high school basketball coach in the Western New York area at Newfane HS. He has coached at the JV level for 9 years and at the varsity level for 9 years. He grew up on a dairy farm in northern Niagara County and has been teaching health and physical education at Newfane HS for the past 17 years. He is co-owner of Tents Unlimited; a party tent rental company that supplies large tents to customers for all occasions. He is an active member of Ridgewood Bible Church community and also has participated in men’s physique bodybuilding competitions.
Some thoughts from Coach Klumpp, “The journey of life is a difficult one, life will give you tests; and through those tests you learn valuable lessons. Through basketball and all sport, we get to learn valuable lessons to be used to serve ourselves and allow us to grow. I am very excited to share my experiences and knowledge in hopes to serve others on the same coaching journey that I have been on”. Through this pod I pray to bring light on important issues that surround the importance of mental, social and physical wellness and how it creates a better environment for us to thrive as a coach and build lasting relationships with those that we serve. One of my favorite verses in scripture is Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Justin Gerstung

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Justin Gerstung is a high school basketball coach in the Western New York area at Akron HS. He has coached at the JV level for four years and at the varsity level for fifteen years. He has been married to his beautiful wife Rochelle since 2003 and has four children, Emma, Benjamin, Abby, and Noelle. Coach G teaches MS Social Studies at Akron MS, helps run the youth basketball program in the community, coaches AAU with the Buffalo Titans, and most importantly to him, is a member of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church vestry. In addition, he runs the Wall of Fame Committee at Akron, coaches youth soccer, and loves the Buffalo Bills. Some thoughts from Coach Gerstung “I believe that basketball is a microcosm for the game of life, those with the best spirit, approach, and perseverance are the ones that find true happiness. The game of basketball, and all sport, have created so many positive experiences in my life that the desire to share is overwhelming. This pod is a way to show gratitude for what I have, while trying to serve others. Taking initiative and being fearless is something I try to model for my kids and students and it is ultimately my goal to serve that helps define my priorities and in turn helps me create balance. I could not do any of this without the support of my wife and kids, family, and friends. Our family words… hungry, humble, fearless embody the approach I try to take everyday and pass on to my kids. I am learning as I grow as a Christ follower and husband, the value of the process and the importance of celebrating others and celebrating their successes! My hope is that this podcast can spread some of the love that I have for this game!” Coach Gerstung hopes that those that listen enjoy all the extra stuff that sport has to offer and encourages feedback and the creation of dialogue.