MAXWELL, Neb. (KNOP) - Quin Conner is from Valentine, and played college basketball at Doane University. After graduating from Doane, Conner became the assistant boys' basketball coach at Conestoga, and coached a Nebraska Select AAU 16 & Under team. Now, Conner is getting his first opportunity as a varsity head coach for Maxwell.
Quin Conner will be a first-time varsity head coach when he takes over the Maxwell boys' basketball job. (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)
"I was interested in moving back West," Conner said, "I didn't really have it dead said my mind that I was going to leave Conestoga yet, but then Maxwell came up and I thought it was an intriguing spot, an intriguing job, and I think it's a spot we can be successful at. I put my name in the hat, put my interest in, and one thing led to another and here we are."
Conner is well-versed on high school hoops across the state and, paired with being from Western Nebraska, the Maxwell program has been on his radar for a while.
"I kind of consider myself a Nebraska basketball connoisseur. From D2 to A, from the Wyoming border, to the Iowa border, I follow it like crazy. So, I know the teams they play, I know the conference they're in, I know their record the past couple years, and I know they were pretty good back in the day when I was in school," Conner said.
While Conner may be young, Maxwell Activities Director Ryan Jones liked what he saw from Conner for both the court and the classroom.
"Coach Conner, we felt, was the best fit for, not only the head basketball job, but the social studies position as well," Jones said. "The basketball knowledge and experience is there, even though he's young."
Despite not having experience as a head coach, Conner learned a lot from Conestoga head coach Jason Ahrens in his two years as an assistant.
"Successful teams, they really hang out with each other on a daily basis, just immersing yourself with each other really translates to success on the court. [Coach Ahrens] really cared for his players, he put everything he had into his players. If it was during the summer, and they wanted to go into the gym, whatever time, he was there, opened it up, anything they could do to be there for each other. That kind of helps build that relationship where they can trust you on the court," Conner said. "It's not a couple months job, being a head basketball coach. If you want to have a successful program, it's 12 months. So, that's really what I learned from him, was hard work, but you're interested in the kids and they'll fight like heck for you."
Conner is excited for his first head coaching experience, and excited to become a part of the Maxwell community.
"Obviously, the first time you're going to be head coach, it's going to be a fun experience. Just building relationships with kids and parents, the Maxwell community, submersing myself with all things Maxwell culture. I know there's some great people out west, I love Western Nebraska a lot, I know the people are going to be nothing but great, and kids work hard out there. So really just building those relationships that, in the end, last a lifetime. I'm really looking forward to getting out there," Conner said.