Bardal resigns as head basketball coach

Tom Bardal has resigned from his head coaching position with the CFHS men’s basketball team.

Coach Tom Bardal

After he took his son Brandon, a 2013 CFHS graduate, to the University of Iowa, Bardal was faced with an impactful decision. He could watch the games from the same bench that helped him produce an 87-29 record over five years at Cedar Falls or he could move into the seats and become the team’s number one fan.

With two daughters still in the CFHS school district — Lyndsey, a junior and a member of the varsity volleyball team, and Jenna, an eighth grader who also participates in competitive volleyball — Bardal missed many of his daughters’ games due to coaching basketball being his number one priority over the last years.

While the decision “was an easy one,” according to Bardal, actually walking away and not just talking about it was more difficult. “It’s hard because I’ve done it for so many years, and I still love basketball,” said Bardal, who has been coaching in the high school and college ranks for nearly 25 years.

This is not the first time that family has come before basketball in his 174-win career. The Faribault High School alum coached on future NBA head coach Tim Floyd’s Iowa State staff for one season before heading to UNI until 2001 when Greg McDermott took over. Instead of getting another job at the college level, he took over at Waterloo West so he wouldn’t have to travel all over the country and be without his family.

He moved on to Waverly and won the 3A state championship in 2007. Following the season he resigned so he could watch his kids play sports and be around them in general. He took the job in the city from which his family lives, Cedar Falls, for the 2008 year.

He made the state tournament twice, in his first year of 2008 with then freshman point guard James Harrington, and then in his final year of 2013 with the team his son played on and which he has coached since they were in fifth grade.

A successor to Bardal has yet to be named, but he said that he would like to see assistant coach Ryan Schultz get the job. “He’s been here since I’ve been here and has always worked his hardest. I have no doubt he deserves it.”

As for his own coaching future, Bardal very clearly did not rule out a return to the sideline, saying, “If that itch comes back, then we will see. There isn’t a job out there right now that I
really want, and if i do get that itch, it’ll have to be in five or six years.”

With just two seniors back from last year, the 2013-2014 Tiger men’s basketball team will have to face its youth and inexperience on the court and the sideline before the season starts this winter.

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