March Madness runs in the family for University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumni Joseph and Joshua Springer.
Championship-winning basketball coach Joshua Springer graduated from UW Oshkosh in fall 2002, just one semester before his dad, Joseph Springer. Both father and son attended UW Oshkosh to earn their bachelor’s degrees in physical education.
“Since I was 15, I had known that I wanted to pursue a career in high school/college basketball coaching,” said Joshua, who earned a minor in coaching and school health education.
Joseph graduated in spring 2003, with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and psychology.
Joshua commends his dad for returning to school to pursue his passion. “I know the decision to go back to school was not an easy one,” he said.
The elder Springer has experience coaching at high school and college levels and currently coaches the women’s basketball team at Lawrence University in Appleton. He also taught at the YMCA and coached internationally with Joshua for the People to People Ambassador Programs.
After Joshua graduated from high school in 1998, he was hired to work with his dad as an assistant coach for UW Fox Valley women’s basketball team.
In total, Joshua has spent seven years coaching college women’s basketball and six years coaching high school girl’s basketball. He spent his past four years in Providence Day, N.C., coaching the high school girl’s basketball team, the Chargers.
Three out of the four years, Joshua has led his team to victory at the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association championships. He said he reminds the girls on his team to “stay humble and hungry” and to be positive ambassadors of their community each day.
Throughout his college career, Joshua gained numerous life lessons from his father about spirituality, family, marriage, friends and basketball that he carries with him daily. During his first two years of college, the two spent a lot of time together on the court and in class.
“I have been fortunate to always have a close relationship with my dad, because a lot of kids nowadays don’t have that opportunity,” Joshua said.
Rounding out this father-son legacy is Joshua’s 2-year-old son, Tyler, who has quickly soaked up an appetite for the game of basketball.
“If he has a passion for coaching basketball, I would be happy to assist him, but it’s not something I would ever force on him,” Joshua said. “I’m sure God has an excellent plan for his future, and if my wife, Holly, and I can give him half the wisdom my parents have given to me, we’ll have done quite a job.”