Dan Chadd admits the mistakes he made while coaching his oldest son, Cam.
And now after spending three years as a floating helper of the program, the former Southmont varsity basketball coach is back on the Mounties’ staff as a varsity assistant coaching his middle son, Carson.
“I missed it when I wasn’t officially on the staff,” Dan Chadd said. “It kind of ignited a fire that had been smoldering for the last several years. I missed hanging with the guys, and it’s a great group. I’ve really enjoyed it more than probably anybody really knows.”
Chadd, who graduated from Southmont in 1991 with 724 points and is a 2011 inductee of the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame, was the Mounties’ head coach from 2008-12, and then was an assistant for a number of years, including Cam’s freshman – junior years. In the years since, Chadd says he’s learned a lot about coaching his sons.
“I learned a lot,” Dan said. “I made a lot of mistakes with Cam when I coached him. I was way too hard on him and I didn’t take time to enjoy the good stuff. I was always worried about the way people portrayed the way I coached him, and I’ve really worked hard on trying not to make those same mistakes with Carson.”
While Dad sees some of his old coaching methods as mistakes, Cam views it a little differently. Although the truth hurts sometimes, it helped make him a better player and a better man in the long-run.
“I remember a lot of hours in the gym, a lot of long car rides, a lot of hard coaching,” Cam said. “One of my Dad’s best qualities is that he is going to tell us the truth whether we want to hear it or not. It was not always easy having him as a coach and there was a lot of struggle that came along with it, but he’s always pushed us to be our best and I thank him a lot for that.”
Cam, a 2018 Southmont graduate, climbed the scoring ranks in high school. His 1,479 points is the most ever by a Mountie and fifth all-time in Montgomery County — setting a benchmark for Carson.
“I look up to my brother a lot,” Carson, a sophomore for the 11-9 Mounties, said. “And he’s kind of set some goals for me just by his success in high school, and what he’s doing in college. So he’s definitely impacted my future and my thought process throughout all of his. I enjoy having him as a brother for sure, because his success definitely pushes me to try and be better for my future.”
With three boys spread evenly apart — Cam a junior at Wabash, Carson a sophomore at Southmont, and a Cale a seventh-grader at Southmont — the Chadd driveway court has seen its fair share of bruises, blood, and tears over the years, but no matter the outcome of a pick-up game it’s always been about the younger brother looking up to the older one.
“Growing up the oldest was a lot of pressure at times because I felt like I needed to be a good example for my brothers to follow in my footsteps,” Cam said. “I hope they can look at my success along with my failures and learn not only how to work hard to achieve their goals, but also learn how to battle through adversity. Carson and I are very similar in the fact of how competitive we are. Our relationship has grown over the past couple of years and I really respect him for his work ethic and competitiveness.”
While Cam has always been a perimeter player, Carson hit an early growth sport and has developed into the Mounties’ go-to post player through two seasons — standing at six-foot-three. And even though Dan hopes he has changed for what he thinks is the better in coaching styles, the preparation for Carson and Cale as athletes remain the same as they were for Cam.
“It didn’t change the way we worked out,” Dan said of Carson’s height. “I told Carson when we first started playing like serious, third and fourth-grade, I told him ‘I know who your parents are, you’re not going to be six-foot-eight, you’re going to have to be a guard eventually, if you ever want to play at the next level, we are going to do the same drills that your brother is doing.’ He’s done all the ball handling, he’s done everything probably more so than Cam did.”
Dan’s love is for the sport of basketball. It’s a bond he shared with his Dad, Ron and brother, Wes, and has now passed it down to his three sons — but at the end of the day, he just wants to see his sons work hard in whatever they choose to do. For Cam, it was four years of high school baseball, and now for Carson, it’s a growing passion for the sport of football.
“I didn’t always like football, but it’s growing on me,” Carson said. “I still love basketball and haven’t really made my mind up on which one I want to pursue in college, but I’m starting to love both.”
Even if it took a little persuading from Dad.
“I don’t know if I want to say that I had to make him play football, but I pretty much had to make him play football,” Dan said. “He’s a guy, much like Cam, when he gets his mind focused on one thing, he doesn’t want to do anything else and I knew he would regret it if he didn’t play.
“I don’t care what they do, I just care about the work they put in it. That’s what I just got done talking to my youngest Cale about the other day. He’s a lefty and throws the baseball really well, and ‘hey if that’s his thing, let’s get after it,’ I just want them to learn the work ethic, and the commitment, and the dedication of whatever it is and hopefully that’s what is going to pay off for them in the long-run.”
Cam originally committed to Bethel University in northern Indiana and after one season, in which he was named most improved player (a proud Dad moment for Dan), he then elected to transfer to Wabash. Cam was lucky enough to join the Little Giants, even though the transfer was unrelated to basketball.
“My motivating factor for transferring was my life after basketball,” Cam said. “Wabash has every resource imaginable to make yourself successful after college. From our Alumni Network to our Career Services, everyone wants to see you succeed. I loved the basketball program at Bethel but the social environment and lack of preparation for my life after college is what made me transfer.”
Nonetheless, Cam has improved as a basketball player, and after missing his sophomore year due to injury, he’s appeared in seven games this season, scoring 19 points for the Little Giants.
Cam’s year away made it tough on Dad, Dan, and Mom, Lisa, with all three boys on different schedules, but Dan says his Dad, who passed away in 2012, and mom, Sheila, instilled a family-first atmosphere in him at a young age.
“That’s something my parents instilled in me from when we were youngers, my brother and I,” Dan said. “My dad worked 11-7 just so he didn’t missed any of our stuff.
“We go to everything we can. My mom is still around, she goes to everything, my wife’s parents are still around and they go to everything they can. And the boys don’t realize how lucky they are to have their grandparents attend as much as they can and it’s been a blessing just to watch them grow and find something they want to work at.”
While Dan has changed his coaching style with his boys, his impact on the program is still evident. He has the trust of current Southmont coach Jake Turner, and his knowledge of the game goes way beyond the x’s and o’s.
“Having Dan on staff has been great and I’m thankful and lucky to be able to have a former varsity coach and someone with his wealth of knowledge on the staff,” Turner said. “He’s a basketball junkie and loves talking the game, so it’s always fun to be able to talk ball with him, whether that be about our team, past Southmont or HS teams, or the NBA. He does a great job of relating to the players, but they all also know that he is a straight shooter and will tell it like it is. Our guys know that Coach Chadd doesn’t mince words, and he will treat them fair, but he will tell them the truth and that is refreshing. He and Craig (Carrell) both help ease my burden in a variety of ways and I appreciate them and what they do for the program very much.”
The next step for Cam after college will be a career in sales — something he started in high school with a shoe business. Another nod to his Dad.
“My success in basketball and as I start a career in sales will have a lot to do with him,” Cam said. “He has taught us from a young age to be goal-oriented, work hard for what you want, and to just always compete no matter what you do. The influence he has had on our lives will go way beyond basketball.”
For Carson, it’s working toward being as good as big brother.
“I’ve always been super competitive,” Carson said. “I’ve played him since I was young, so I always thought I could be better than him, so just seeing how much success he’s had, I’ve always thought I can be just as good and work my way up there and be just as good as he was, if not better.”
And don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time for Chadd boys to represent the Mounties.
Cale is coming right behind Carson.