RIVERTON, Kan. — When Bronson Schaake left the head coaching position at Riverton High School to become the new head boys basketball coach at Joplin High School, it left an opening with the Rams.
It was announced last week that Riverton named Brandon Pate as its new head boys basketball coach, but it’s a place where Pate has a sense of familiarity.
“Who knew?” Pate said. “But I’m excited. It is kind of like going back home, it’s where I started. I got an opportunity to start my coaching career there. So to be able to come back all these years later, it’s special no doubt about it.”
Pate served as an assistant coach at Riverton for five years from 2012-2017 and was a part of two conference championships in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015. He was also a part of two state tournament appearances with the Rams in those some years.
The new Riverton head coach attended Mesa Community College in Mesa, AZ, in 1996 where he led a nationally ranked team to a 30-5 record, a conference title, Region 1 title and a national tournament appearance in Hutchinson, Kan. From there, Pate played at Northland Pioneer College in Holbrook, AZ, in 1998 before finishing his collegiate career at Pittsburg State University under then-head coach Gene Iba in 1999-00.
One of his biggest performances as a Gorilla came against Missouri Southern State head men’s basketball Jeff Boschee during his playing days with the University of Kansas Jayhawks. Pate dropped 29 points against the fourth-ranked Jayhawks on his way to becoming first team all-conference his senior year.
“I’m all about getting in the gym with my guys and playing some ball,” Pate said. “So now that this is past us, I’m just ready to get in the gym.”