But, this past Monday morning was different.
It was the first Monday morning as an assistant high school
basketball coach for the former Railer star, who has joined Neil
Alexander's coaching staff at LCHS this season.
Farmer insists that he was excited to be at Monday's 6 a.m.
Tuesday may have been a different story, though.
"I was telling coach (Eric) Ewald tonight, I was so excited the
first day when I got there, at 6 in the morning," said Farmer on
Thursday night. "Then the second day rolled around, and I was asking
myself, 'Do I really need to be here anymore?' I had forgotten how
bad those were.
"But it's been fun so far. I don't know exactly how to explain
it, but I really relate to these kids well. I've been through it. I
know where they're coming from. It's looking good so far. The kids
seem to know me and it's fun to interact with them."
Farmer arguably had one of the best high school careers of any
Railer in history.
He is 10th all-time on the school's career scoring list, with
1,285 points. He is also one of just four players in Central State
Eight conference history to win the Conference Player of the Year
award twice, winning in 2006 and 2007. During Farmer's senior
season, in 2007, the Railers set the school record for average
points allowed, surrendering just 38.9 points per game.
But, above all, Farmer was a winner. During his senior season,
the Railers set the program's record for wins, finishing with a 33-3
mark. During his four years on the varsity squad, from 2004-2007,
Lincoln had a combined record of 109-26. Farmer and teammates Matt
Schick, Ethan Neitzel and Jarod Buckles are the only Railers to ever
make two separate trips to the state tournament, advancing to the
Elite Eight in 2005 and 2007.
The winning didn't stop in high school. Farmer helped lead
Lincoln College to a third-place finish in the NJCAA national
tournament in 2009. After Lincoln College, Farmer concluded his
playing career at the University of Illinois Springfield, an NCAA
Division II school.
Alexander attributed much of Farmer's success as a player to his
ferocious competitiveness, a trait that Alexander hopes will rub off
on current players.
"Brandon was a pretty good player. But he made himself a whole
lot better because of his work ethic, how hard he played, the things
he did on the court," said Alexander. "Those ingredients are things
that have to be instilled in kids. We need somebody to do that. It's
not something that Brandon will have to work at too much, because
that's just what is in him. Hopefully that rubs off on our kids. If
it does, we could be pretty good."
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It isn't Farmer's first coaching job. He spent last year as an
assistant coach on Kirk Whiteman's staff at Lincoln College.
Farmer says he's noticed a difference right away between the
college and high school ranks.
"It's two different extremes … it's different kids, different
styles," said Farmer. "I think the biggest difference so far -- at
Lincoln College, the kids saw me more as a player, a friend. But the
high school kids see me more as a coach, not someone who would be
playing with them in practice."
Indeed, Farmer is no longer a player. He's a young adult now.
He recently got engaged to Courtnee Brown. Farmer and Brown met
through Whiteman, who is Brown's brother-in-law. Brown was also an
athlete at UIS, starring on the volleyball court for the Prairie
Farmer will be balancing his coaching duties with wedding
planning this winter.
"It'll be a little difficult. I'm sure Coach Al will need things,
Courtnee will need things," said Farmer, laughing. "But of course,
she comes first. Anything that needs to get done will get done. But,
she'll be there to support me. She'll understand. She'll be at the
games. She loves basketball."
Farmer says he can see himself on the Railer coaching staff for
an extended period. But, he also hasn't ruled out becoming a head
coach some day either.
"If I'm an assistant at a high school, there's no other place I
would rather be at," said Farmer. "If there were opportunities to be
a head coach, I would consider it. We'll see how this season goes,
and we'll see if I'd ever even want to be a head coach. I can see
myself being at Lincoln for a while if I decide to stay in coaching.
I'm sure enjoying it right now."
[By JUSTIN TIERNEY]