Phil Jagielo tapped as head basketball coach for the 2022-23 season


Katie Lechton, Sports Editor

Phil Jagielo will be returning to be the head coach of the Amherst boy’s basketball program next year. This comes after a year of coaching the men’s team at UW-SP.

“In less than a year, I formed some very strong relationships with the players and coaching staff at UWSP,” said Jagielo. “I gained a great amount of knowledge and am forever grateful to Coach [Bob] Semling for taking a chance on me.” He ultimately stepped away from UW-SP for both his family and his desire of being the head coach on the high school level.


Being a collegiate coach didn’t stop him from attending some of Amherst’s games during the 2021-22 season, where the Falcons went 13-12 and averaged 54 points a game. “I actually got more nervous for them in the stands than I did on the sidelines,” Jagielo added. “It’s like I tell my sons after their soccer/baseball games: ‘I just love watching you play.’ I got that similar joy from watching them compete this year.”

His season at UWSP allowed him to gain knowledge that he wouldn’t at the high school level. That was because of Coach Semling, the head basketball coach at UWSP. “Anyone who knows Coach Semling knows the importance he places on defense and rebounding. Watching that be prioritized was what I really needed.” As for how he’s going to move forward with this: “For our team entering this season, this is where we can grow and improve the most. If we can get to a high level defensively, get five guys on the glass, we have an opportunity to maximize our potential.”

He found that the position was vacant online, and that going through the interview process before, he needed to be open, honest, and accountable. He coached here at Amherst from 2018-2021, tallying up a 15-50 overall win-loss record. “I approached it the wrong way. Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Going into this year, he’s planning on turning a new leaf for his coaching techniques. “We plan on placing a large emphasis on body language and decision making. Decision making isn’t just making the right pass/play but making the proper decision when adversity hits.” He went on to say, “We all make mistakes; we own them, we move on, we struggle well, together. Tactically speaking, prioritizing defense and rebounding as stated above will unlock our potential.”

All while planning for the upcoming season, Jagielo is still grateful for the people that helped him be the person and coach he is now. “I’d like to thank our staff (Kevin Vander Laan, Ryan Pikka, Marcus Jensen, Kyle Norwood, Logan Moe, Jamison Kryshak) for everything they did for our program and me personally during my first three seasons. I’m forever grateful for all of them.”

With having two graduating classes playing at (or starting to play at) the high school level he hasn’t coached, they should expect the same level of coaching from the past few years. “The current and incoming freshman class have had a lot of coaching from the high school level leading up to this point. Whether in the middle school season, summer camps/league, spring/fall workouts, these guys have heard my voice, understand our expectations and how excited we are to see them grow in the coming years.”

Lastly, Jagielo leaves The Talon with these parting words for the community, “As the old saying goes, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’… stepping away for a season I gained a lot of perspective on life and a greater appreciation for Amherst. I’m excited and appreciative for the opportunity to lead this program again.”

Welcome back to Amherst Basketball Coach Jagielo!