Soldiers To Sidelines Honors William Agostini Jr. as May 2024 Soldier Coach of the Month

William Agostini Jr. was born and raised in a military household and eventually married into a military family.  Will’s father and grandfather each served over 20 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces Command. His wife served in the U.S. Army for five years as a Staff Sergeant and they eventually named their son Sergeant.

William Agostini Jr w basketball playerCoach Agostini learned about Soldiers To Sidelines and attended an in-person STS Basketball Coaching Workshop at Ft. Liberty in Fayetteville, NC. Dustin Kerns and the Appalachia State Men’s Basketball coaching staff delivered an exciting experience that influenced Will to complete the STS Coaching Certification.  Since certifying he has been actively involved in Soldiers To Sidelines doing everything he can to improve his coaching craft.  He works hard for the right reasons to positively influence kids to become excellent citizens.  Will has been coaching basketball for the past 14 years, and he currently serves as the Varsity Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Falcon Christian Academy in North Carolina.  Read the following interview with Coach Agostini Jr. to fully appreciate why he deserves the honor of Soldiers To Sidelines Soldier Coach of the Month.

STS: Tell your story about how and why you got into coaching. How coaching has impacted you as a person?

Coach Agostini: Passion is what gets you up in the morning, keeps you motivated to weather the inevitable storms and gives you peace each night knowing that you spent your day doing what you love. Very few people have the privilege of working a job that they are truly passionate about. Coaching is that kind of job for me. I want to be able to stay around the game and still compete. Basketball is my passion. There are few things in life, apart from my wife and kids that I love more than playing, coaching, watching, and talking about basketball. I love to see young men grow and come together for a common goal. I’ve had the pleasure of coaching dozens of players without a father-figure in their lives. To some, basketball might just be a game but to me it’s a way to make a difference in the lives of guys who really need it.

I first started coaching 14 years ago for an adult men’s league in my local community. After 9 years I stepped out and created an adult men’s church league of my own that has run successfully for 5 years now. It was my involvement there that first got me recruited to coach Varsity basketball for a local Christian High School and was later picked up by another school in a neighboring town.

STS: How has your military experience influenced you as a coach?

Coach Agostini: No one instills discipline quite like the military. I credit my lifestyle and my coaching style a lot to how I was raised. Having a dad who spent his entire adult life in the Army meant that we had rooms that were inspection-ready at all times! I was born in the old Womack Army Hospital on Fort Bragg (now Fort Liberty), and I spent the first several years of my life in on-base housing. I’ve lived my whole life in a military town. Being raised by a 20-year Veteran instilled military discipline, strength, and perseverance in me that I still abide by to this day. I see so much evidence of that in my tenacity, organization, and leadership as a coach. My players, many of whom come from some pretty rough backgrounds, know that I coach hard because it means something; my teams play tough in-your-face defense and never back down.

STS: How has Soldiers To Sidelines impacted your life?

Coach Agostini: I am really glad that some Facebook algorithm put Soldiers to Sidelines on my radar. I was hooked from the very first ad I saw for the program and have been so blessed by the amazing opportunities it has afforded me.

William Agostini Jr w basketball playersI’ve been able to learn hands-on from Division I Head Coaches, get exposure to new offensive sets, defensive strategies, and different philosophies from coaches at all levels (DII/DIII/Assistants/etc.). Through in-person Coaching Workshops and online seminars, this knowledge and experience has been invaluable!

STS: Describe a coaching interaction with a player, or group of players, that has a special place in your heart?

Coach Agostini: Getting doused with Gatorade is a rite of passage for coaches everywhere. It really meant something to me to get dumped on after winning a Tournament Championship with a special group of Seniors who had played several years for me, knowing it would be their final run.

STS: What are your aspirations in coaching?

Coach Agostini: Coaching basketball at the collegiate level would be the dream job for me. I do aspire to that one day. But in the interim, I aspire to continue to develop young athletes and build up the basketball program here at Falcon Christian Academy. We’ve begun a winning tradition that I’m excited to see continue for years to come.

STS: What was the most difficult challenge you have experienced in coaching and what have you learned from that experience?

Coach Agostini: My first 2 years coaching at the varsity level were boot camp-level challenging! I had taken over as Head Coach at Riverside Christian Academy, which had a very young program with only 1 varsity win in 4 years before I came on. I was literally teaching the game of basketball and absolute basics to some of the kids who were playing for the first time ever. It was a very tough but rewarding foray into High School coaching. We went 2-11 in my first year and improved to 8-9 in my second year. I also helped get one of my players recruited to play DIII ball by the end of that second year. It was one of my most rewarding seasons even though I’ve since had far superior winning seasons and better players… That original team far surpassed their own talent and expectations.