BISMARCK — A 317-68 record, eight trips to the state tournament, eight regional title, two sectional title and a second-place state finish.
These are the accomplishments Terry French put up in 19 years at Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin as boys golf coach and it is something that new coach Brian Carpenter has to look forward to as he starts his coaching career this upcoming season.
“I have followed the program for years and Terry has built the program into a legacy in this county and community,” Carpenter said. “I tell people that I am not replacing Terry French. He is moving on to collegiate level and I am taking over for Terry French.”
Carpenter said that he and French, who is now coaching at Danville Area Community College, are similar in a lot of ways.
“Terry and I see eye to eye on a lot of things and have the same philosophies on attitude, behavior, etiquette and everything that comes with golf,” Carpenter said. “It is kind of intimidating in taking over for what I consider a hall of fame golf coach. He has left a wonderful legacy of golf at Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin. They are big shoes to fill, but I am confident in carrying on the tradition that he has built here.”
While Carpenter graduated from Armstrong-Potomac, he has settled into being a BHRA supporter and a former baseball coach for the Blue Devils
“My wife went there and I have transitioned to the Bismarck family,” Carpenter said. “I coached before Brent Rademacher was principal and I had a great working relationship with the administration. I always enjoyed golf and I started a conversation with Mr. Rademacher, one thing led to the next and I am here.”
On top of taking over for French, Carpenter also had to deal with connecting to his new team in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s definitely been challenging as a new coach knowing before school closed that I would get the job,” Carpenter said. “I was able to meet with the team two days before school was canceled for the rest of the semester.
“The most challenging part of that is not meeting with the incoming freshmen that will most likely be the future of the program, so trying to find those kids have been a challenge. There is nothing like starting your coaching career in a pandemic, but it has been challenging.”
With an good month and a half before the first practice, Carpenter is confident that he can find a connection to his players and knows they will be ready to go.
“We can’t hold a practice until August 10th, but I will be on the golf course and I will run into some of the players and we will chit-chat,” Carpenter said. “With golf, the best thing I can tell them is play. Go out and play, play, play. Take some lessons and find some junior tournaments if they are still holding some. But golf is a little bit easier in workouts than football or softball and it hasn’t been too bad.”
In the end, Carpenter hopes to start a new era but to keep remnants of the old one as a guide.
“I hope that I can continue to do this program justice and keep us on the map and the one good thing is I know Terry very well,” Carpenter said. “I hope to enter a deorated program and do the best I can and keep us where we are at.”