When director of athletics Brian Niemuth hired Brad Bjorkgren to be Simpson's head men's basketball coach in the spring of 2015, he knew was getting a great coach.
He didn't know he was getting a hall of famer.
Fresh off his second season as head men's basketball coach for the Storm, Bjorkgren was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association's Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2017 for his remarkable career at Urbandale High School.
A 1983 graduate of Simpson, Bjorkgren spent 27 years as the head boys coach at Urbandale, going 398-213 with nine Central Iowa Metropolitan League (CIML) Championships and seven appearances in the Class 4A State Tournament.
"This is a great honor, one I wasn't expecting," Bjorkgren said. "To be mentioned among the other remarkable players and coaches being inducted is one of the highlights of my coaching career. This wouldn't be possible if not for the great student-athletes I had the pleasure of coaching and the great people who coached alongside me."
Among those inducted along with Bjorkgren were players Brooks McKowen (Wapsie Valley), Adam Haluska (Carroll) and Carlton Reed (Waterloo East) and fellow coaches Jim Eekhoff (Western Christian) and Don Showalter (Iowa City, City/Mid Prairie), among others.
The Hall of Fame covers over 100 years of high school basketball and those inducted are among the top one-half of one percent of all Iowans who have played or coached the game. Bjorkgren was officially inducted on Saturday, March 11 at Wells Fargo Arena at halftime of the 3A State Championship game.
"I owe a lot to Simpson College," Bjorkgren said. "The leadership skills that I learned at Simpson from my coaches and professors were invaluable. My education at Simpson prepared me for my career in education and coaching."
Bjorkgren led the Storm to a 16-10 mark in 2016-17, giving Simpson back-to-back 15-win seasons for the first time in 18 years. He guided Simpson to a 15-11 mark in his first season.