Final Four special for Koenig’s high school coach

Among the Wisconsin Badgers preparing for Saturday’s Final Four match-up against Kentucky is La Crosse native Bronson Koenig.

There are sure to be plenty of Koenig fans watching the game, but not many have the special relationship that his former high school coach has with the Aquinas grad.

After making the thousand-mile trip from La Crosse, former Aquinas High School basketball coach Rick Schneider settles down for a big Texas brunch. “It’s nice to have a good meal, after eating on the fly all day yesterday.”

And according to Rick, when in Texas, you do as the Texans do. “BBQ and steak. That’s the goal.”

The grub is good – but that’s not why he’s in Texas. He has a personal tie to the Wisconsin Badgers team. “To see Bronson getting valuable minutes where he’s out on the court contributing to their success, it’s really a special time.”

“We feel kind of like proud parents,” said Rick’s wife Casey.

Rick and Casey have followed Bronson Koenig’s success since he left Aquinas less than a year ago to join the Badgers, but they still remember the teenage boy playing under Rick’s guidance all four years of his high school career. Rick said “You spend a lot of time growing together and getting to know each other, and you go through a lot.”

“To see him on the floor will be very emotional for us,” said Casey.

First, the Schneider’s will take in both Texas’s sites and snacks – but Saturday, you’ll find these two at the big game to root on Koenig – both in the Final Four, and whatever the future holds next for this La Crosse native.

“The sky’s the limit, and I think he’s already proven that,” said Rick. 

During the Badgers’ shoot around Friday afternoon, Rick got the chance to shake Bronson’s hand and share some words of support leading up to Saturday.