Following the retirement of longtime boys' basketball coach Mike Connelly earlier this summer, Immaculata athletic director Sean Sachen knew exactly what he was looking for.
"For years, coach Connelly developed high character young men," Sachen said. "And that was the biggest thing that stood out with coach (Bronson) Schaake; his interest in building high character students on and off the court and continuing that tradition built by coach Connelly."
On Monday, the Raider administration agreed with Sachen and officially signed Schaake as the school's new head boys' basketball coach.
The Basehor-Linwood assistant will replace the legendary Connelly, who spent the last three decades making the program into a storied and successful one.
"I played against Imac at Basehor and so I know what kind of tradition and pride they have," Schaake said. "I think when you have that tradition, you will have great commitment from the kids and that is what attracted me to the job."
Schaake himself is accustomed to winning. Since joining his alma mater's staff four years ago, the coach learned first-hand what it takes to win at this level.
"I was the freshman coach and varsity assistant there and we had a lot of success over the past five years," he said. "We won the state title back in 2012 and through it all I got to learn from one of the best coaches around in Mike McBride."
As far as the brand of basketball he hopes to develop, the new Raider head man stops short of any declaration besides promising his teams will play hard and sound.
"I'm a hard-nose but fair individual and that is how I believe you have to coach basketball," Schaake said. "We will grind it out defensively and definitely be fundamentally sound. I just want my kids to work hard."
The Raiders coach also doesn't have any early predictions on his team's style of play. He plans to adjust each squad to its respective personnel, but would like to get up and down the court offensively if possible.
He also recognizes the current transition the program is going through with five seniors departing and a host of youngsters coming up through the ranks.
Yet, it's that changeover that excites Schaake, and the results that could come from it.
"Basketball is just a game," the coach said. "I love it and the boys should too, but teaching them how to work for things they truly want, acting well in the community both on and off the court and how to carry themselves properly are far more important."
"I really want to mold high-character kids no matter what the situations are."
And that's exactly what Sachen was looking for.
"He is young, energetic and gets what we are about," the AD said. "He will continue the tradition that coach Connelly put in place for so many years and that is exciting."