Friday, September 1, 2017
At a young age, Brian Stanchak '04 realized his love for basketball would not be fulfilled by a life as a player. Just a sophomore in high school, Stanchak made the decision to follow his passion for the sport by pursuing a career as a college basketball coach. He spent his high school summers working college basketball camps, including one at Seton Hall. It was that experience that influenced his decision to apply for college, so much so, that he only applied to one: Seton Hall.
From the day he was accepted, Stanchak focused on his path toward becoming a college basketball coach, immersing himself in the sport as much as possible. He spent all four years working as a student assistant and video coordinator with the men's basketball team, an experience that allowed him to gain insight into the various moving parts of a basketball organization. He knew that insight combined with the knowledge he gained through the sports management program would serve him well post-college.
Upon graduating, Stanchak became an assistant coach at University of Pennsylvania, then at Farleigh Dickinson University, before coming home to The Hall to assist the women's basketball coach under Head Coach Phyllis Mangina. During his time as coach, from 2007 to 2010, Stanchak says that one of his biggest challenges is one of his fondest memories: coaching against the best teams in the country in the Big East conference. "We would break school records for non-conference wins, but in the Big East we were going against football schools with much bigger budgets so we were facing an uphill battle," he said, "However, being able to coach in the best conference in the country and being able to do it at home was amazing." He was happy to hear about the realignment of the Big East conference in 2013, which he says allowed for a more level playing field.
After his time as coach at Seton Hall, at that point 10 years into his coaching career, Stanchak says he needed a break from the game, "I had reached a significant goal in my career by coaching at my alma mater. Despite some great opportunities to remain in coaching, I was ready for something new." He made a switch in his career and became a pharmaceutical sales representative. While he was rising to tremendous success in his new profession, quickly becoming the number one sales rep in his company and making more money than he did coaching, Stanchak realized he felt a big absence in his life, "I missed the camaraderie of working on a college campus, the atmosphere and being a part of something more." For him, feeding his passion was more important than feeding his pockets, so after one year he made his way back into athletics.
In 2011, he accepted an offer to be the director of athletics at Penn State University, Wilkes-Barre. It was in this role Stanchak began to advise several of his coaching colleagues and recognized that his experience as both a coach and athletic director would serve a great value, "I was inspired helping several coaching friends achieve career success and realized that my experience as both a Division coach and collegiate athletic director allowed me to provide tremendous insight to coaches that no other agent in the industry possessed. Plus, being a former coach and understanding the personal sacrifices that coaches make to succeed professionally, I am genuinely invested in helping coaches maximize their careers."
In 2013, Stanchak tapped into all that he learned as a business student and launched The BDS Agency. The BDS Agency specializes in advising, marketing, and representing college basketball coaches to assist them in maximizing and protecting all aspects of their careers through professional development, career counsel, marketing, job placement support, interview preparation, and contract negotiations.
His education in business, both his sports management bachelor's degree from Seton Hall and his master's degree in sport management studies, collegiate athletic administration from California University of Pennsylvania, mixed with his passion and experience, created the perfect cocktail for success. Within four years, The BDS Agency became an industry leader, working with a large number of clients who have obtained Division I head coach positions and others who have significantly enhanced their contracts. In 2016, Stanchak established a nationally recognized conference called the Head Coach Training Center. The conference provides basketball coaches an opportunity to learn how to obtain a head coach position and succeed in that role.
His advice to students looking to follow their passion as a career is, "find your unique intrinsic value and let people know that is what you are bringing to the table that sets you apart."