Watervliet Athletics welcomes new varsity basketball coach

Meet Coach Marc Fruscio

Varsity basketball coach stands with team in front of bleachersVarsity basketball coach stands nearby as players practice on the court

Although not new to coaching — Marc Fruscio is the new head coach for Watervliet’s varsity basketball program this year.

During the day, Coach Fruscio teaches math at Hackett Middle School in the Albany City School District. He began his career teaching high school math in Lansingburgh. While there, he was Lansingburgh’s varsity basketball coach, and his team captured the Class A Sectional Title in 2017.

His coaching experience dates back a decade ago when he first served as the varsity basketball coach for Green Island (Heatly), then later coached the modified team at Hackett Middle School. In addition to coaching Watervliet’s varsity team, he is currently an assistant men’s basketball coach for Hudson Valley Community College.

Six questions with the Coach

Communications intern and Watervliet High School senior Jessenia George recently interviewed Coach Fruscio about his goals and priorities for the varsity basketball program, and although winning games is certainly important – it isn’t everything. Learn more about Coach Fruscio, what brought him to Watervliet and his coaching philosophy with his answers to Jessenia’s questions below.

Q. What are your expectations for this season?

My expectations are to help teach life lessons through basketball. I have always believed in doing the right thing on and off the basketball court. My coaching staff and I are trying to help our student-athletes understand the importance of doing the right thing in the classroom and in the community. If we act the right way off the court then we will have success on the court.

Q. Why did you want to become a coach?

I became a coach because I enjoy leading young men to try to accomplish one common goal. Of course, I want to win every game we play but instilling discipline has always been my number one priority. Hopefully, the lessons that the coaching staff and I deliver to our players stick with them long after high school. These lessons will be extremely valuable to them through all areas of their life.

Q. Can you describe what a typical practice looks like for your team?

I am a firm believer in “practices should be harder than games.” I think this idea makes the games that much easier. Typically, our practices are centered around defense. We do different defensive drills throughout practice intertwined with a lot of conditioning. It is crucial for us to be the best conditioned team on the court every night. I always try to create a practice plan that promotes competition throughout all of our drills.

Q. What are your core values as a coach?

My core values as a coach are discipline, execution and playing hard. I feel that if teams do all three of these things on a regular basis they will be extremely difficult to beat. Implementing all of these values is not something that happens over night, but with hard work and dedication I believe our team will be sufficient in all three areas when sectional time comes around.

Q. How do you view the relationship between academics and athletics?

Being a middle school teacher, I understand the importance of academics. I have seen numerous athletes who do not handle their business in the classroom and it really affects their future. Sometimes it is challenging to find a balance between academics and athletics, but throughout the season we have implemented team study halls and weekly grade sheets. These are only two of the many different ways that we stress academics to our team. It is always a goal of mine for any team I coach to be a scholar athlete team.

Q. What brought you to Watervliet?

Watervliet has such a great tradition of having great athletic teams. I hope that we can keep that tradition going on the basketball court. Teams here have won league titles, sectional championships and even state championships in recent years. Being a part of this tradition is a great honor!