WILKES-BARRE — Brian Stanchak knew he wasn’t destined for a playing career on the hardwood but, through a successful coaching stint and the founding of his own management agency, made sure he’d still be a part of the game he grew up with.
Stanchak, 34, spent much of his 20s as an assistant coach for men’s and women’s NCAA Division I basketball teams after getting his start on the sidelines at age 16. The New Jersey native’s coaching career spanned stops at Seton Hall, Fairleigh Dickinson and the University of Pennsylvania — where he helped the men’s team secure the 2005 Ivy League championship.
But Stanchak, a former director of athletics at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, wanted to explore a different route. So he amassed his knowledge of the game and set his sights on its marketing and management aspects, founding The BDS Agency in downtown Wilkes-Barre in 2013.
Today, Stanchak represents dozens of men’s and women’s collegiate coaches from Division I, II and III programs that span the nation, but said he prides his clients on not only being “great coaches, but great people.”
Whether the relationship calls for assisting with contract negotiations, prepping for interviews or helping a client become more visible within the industry, Stanchak said no day is ever the same. And few agents, he said, offer similar experience.
“I think that the investment that I have (in college basketball), having been a former coach, and then having been on both sides of the table, is invaluable,” Stanchak said.
Stanchak last year launched the Head Coaching Training Center, a conference held at the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino designed to educate up-and-coming coaches on how to land a head coaching job and flourish in the role. The three-day event features guest speakers, a networking mixer and several Q&A panels. It takes place in May.
Stanchak said holding the event in Plains Township was his way of “giving back” to coaches in the area. He hopes more area coaches take advantage of the next workshop, he said.
On any given day, Stanchak might be in the nation’s heartland sitting through a client’s practice or at the negotiating table in the northeast working out the terms of a long-term deal. The job is constant, but Stanchak said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s fun,” he said. “Being your own boss, you earn by how hard you work.”
Stanchak resides in Hanover Township with his wife, Kristen, and 2-year-old son, Mason.
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Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL