Everything appeared pointed toward the fulfillment of Jack Brossman’s dream.
He would replace Bobo Brayton as Washington State University’s baseball coach.
He would continue the school’s fine tradition on the diamond.
Finally, with some fortune and hard work, Jay Brossman would play baseball at WSU for his father.
Then the dream came to a screeching halt.
Instead, Jack Brossman ultimately found himself coaching Pullman’s girls basketball team.
So how does he feel about fate’s cruel workings?
Ask him this week, when Pullman plays at the girls State 2A basketball tournament in the Tacoma Dome.
He’ll be the guy offering pointers to one of the area’s top sophomore players, Greyhounds guard Christa Brossman.
Christa remembers when her father, after nine years as Brayton’s assistant, found out the head coaching job wouldn’t be his.
“It was hard on the whole family,” she said, “but we got through it together. We had a good support group with our church and friends. Maybe it just worked out for the best because he’s had this opportunity.”
Jack Brossman had coached his daughter through three AAU seasons, so his interest was sparked when the Pullman job opened two years ago when Jim Merk resigned.
Father and daughter had several heart-to-heart talks about the prospect of Christa starting as a freshman. People may say mean-spirited things, Jack told her. I have goals I’d like to attain, Christa responded.
Christa made the transition easier when she averaged 13 points per game as a freshman.
Nobody questions her position now, as she comes off a 20.4 point-per-game season capped by Pullman’s second state appearance in history. The 1994 Greyhounds finished 0-2 at state.
These Greyhounds appeared headed nowhere when they finished the regular season with six consecutive losses and were 8-12. They had to win a tiebreaking game just to qualify for the District 7 tournament, but then eliminated ninth-ranked Newport and notched two wins over sixth-ranked Riverside.
Jack Brossman said he used the same principles for Pullman’s girls he used while coaching college baseball at St. Mary of the Plains in Dodge City, Kan., and Briar Cliff in Sioux City, Iowa.
“Maybe I’m stupid enough to think that if you can coach one sport, you can coach another,” he said. “Coaching is the analyzing of body movements … and drawing the best out of individuals.”
He attended Inglemoor High in Bothell, Wash., then played strong safety for WSU’s football team and outfield for the baseball team.
He coached three years at St. Mary of the Plains, returned to WSU to earn his masters in athletic administration, then spent one year as coach and athletic director at Briar Cliff.
Christa was born in Dodge City and claims to have distant memories of Kansas. Jay was born in Pullman.
The siblings often play pickup games, but Jay’s interests lie more with baseball. Christa prefers basketball, but plays a mean shortstop and also competes in volleyball.
Father and daughter share many traits.
“I know what he’s thinking a lot of times,” Christa said. “He always knows how to motivate me.”
“I’m a lot tougher on her than she probably deserves,” Jack said. “But that’s just the way it works out.”
During their final district game against Riverside, Christa grew concerned that her dad was about to receive a technical foul. She called out, “Dad, sit down and be quiet,” but the Pullman radio broadcaster thought she said, “Jack, sit down and be quiet.”
“Sometimes he gets carried away,” Christa said.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: WEDNESDAY’S LOCAL 2A GIRLS OPENERS 9 a.m.: Pullman (12-13) vs. Connell (20-3) 6:30 p.m.: Lakeside (21-1) vs. Goldendale (16-7) 8 p.m.: Riverside (17-5) vs. Omak (21-1)