Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Sandstedt brings tremendous experience to Berthoud basketball

By: Dan Karpiel | The Surveyor | January 21, 2021 | Boys Basketball

The only thing that took Todd Sandstedt away from coaching basketball was a 25-year career as a special agent for the FBI. Now retired from the most prestigious law enforcement organization in the world, Sandstedt is returning to the court to lead the Berthoud High School (BHS) boys basketball team.

Serving as the Spartans head coach, however, was not something he actively sought. He has been a close observer of Berthoud sports as his eldest son, Derek, was a 2018 BHS graduate who shined as a football player and now plays collegiately, and David, a senior who plays basketball, but the head coach opening almost fell into his lap.

The sudden and unexpected resignation of former head coach Joel Davidson opened the door for Sandstedt to take a role with the team’s club program in the fall, knowing, as Sandstedt explained, “When Joel resigned, fall club basketball had just started, some kids on the team reached out who I coached previously and asked would you mind, do you have the time to coach?”

Sandstedt enthusiastically agreed to help shepherd the team through the fall while a replacement for Davidson was found. The replacement resigned abruptly amid felony charges in Utah and Sandstedt decided, after discussions with BHS Athletic Director Michael DeWall, to take the reigns of the program under an “interim head coach” tag.

“Even in an interim capacity, I want to maintain that foundational aspect of the basketball program,” Sandstedt said. “I have a great appreciation for Berthoud, for the school and the community, it’s been a real positive for my family.”

Before his career in the FBI, which began in Tennessee and brought him and his family to Berthoud in 2010 when he took the role of Supervisor of FBI Investigations for Northern Colorado, Sandstedt served as an assistant coach in multiple capacities for Division One Appalachian State from 1988-1995.

“I worked basically every position you could,” Sandstedt said of his time at Appalachian State. Rules at the time allowed only a certain number of coaches to work the recruiting trail so Sandstedt stayed in North Carolina, a hotbed for college basketball, and did scouting, delved deeply into Xs and Os of the sport and learned the “nuts and bolts” of coaching basketball. Before he left for the FBI, he was serving as the school’s recruiting coordinator.

Sandstedt explained he believes in coaching using a ground-up approach, focusing on fundamentals and playing team basketball. Knowing the players on the team well, Sandstedt coached several of them in youth leagues alongside his son, he said he will coach to his players’ abilities, taking an approach that maximizes their collective strengths.

Sandstedt explained there are big primary aspects he believes puts Berthoud in a position to find success this winter. “One, with some of the facilities upgrades that Coach DeWall has been overseeing the last year or two, we don’t have excuses as far as that goes. When they walk into the main gymnasium, it’s impressive and it’s a place you want to play and compete and do well,” Sandstedt said. “And Two, the school aspect of it, the way a that a small town allows everyone to be a community, keep in touch with one another, help other folks out, not only helps us big time on the athletic side but on the academic side as well, which is key for the student-athlete experience.”

Even though he coached nearly the full gambit of basketball levels – from youth leagues to Division One college – Sandstedt explained the focus on the word “student” in student-athlete will remain at the forefront of his mind throughout his tenure leading the BHS program.

Said Sandstedt, “To me, preparing them for life after high school and preparing them to be our future leaders is the most important part of the day. We have been presented this fall, this year, with plenty of life lesson opportunities to take about perseverance, about adaptability, change, and continue to drive and work hard to get to a goal even if the normal avenues for getting to that goal might not be available to us at this time.”

He continued, “The hallmark I want for our guys is to work hard for success on the court because that’s why we’re there, but then to be part of the high school fabric where we send these guys out and as they’re getting hired for jobs or interviewing for college, the reflection on Berthoud is really good.”

The 2021 basketball season begins Tuesday, Jan. 26 when Berthoud will travel to Loveland to face Mountain View.

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