The 2018-19 season marks Brad Bjorkgren's fourth as the head men's basketball coach at Simpson. In three short years he has injected enthusiasm and optimisim into the program, helping the Storm post at least 13 wins in three straight seasons for the first time since 2001-2004. An accomplished high school coach prior to Simpson, 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.
The Storm are 44-33 under Bjorkgren (pronounced Bee-york-gren), up from 10-40 in the two seasons prior to his arrival. Simpson went 13-12 in 2017-18, tying for fourth in the IIAC and earning the right to host a conference tournament game for the third year in a row. He led the Storm to a 15-11 mark in 2015-16, a nine-game turnaround from the previous season. He tied the school record for wins by a first-year head coach and piloted the Storm to a second-place finish in the IIAC, the program's best in 12 years.
Bjorkgren's up-tempo style produced a school-record 232 3-pointers in 2015-16 as Simpson led the IIAC in several categories, including steals, turnover margin and free throw percentage. Sam Amsbaugh earned Iowa Conference co-MVP honors in 2017-18.
Hired as the 23rd head coach in Simpson history on April 15, 2015, Bjorkgren came to Simpson following a 27-year stint as the head coach at Urbandale (Iowa) High School. He went 398-213 at Urbandale, winning nine Central Iowa Metropolitan League (CIML) Championships and appearing in seven Class 4A State Tournaments.
Bjorkgren earned CIML Coach of the Year honors eight times, district coach of the year seven times and took home Class 4A State Coach of the Year honors in 2000. In 2013, he won the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association's (IBCA) Don Logan Service Award for his ongoing commitment to the sport. He was the president of the IBCAfrom 2002-03 and has served on the executive board since 1998.
In addition to coaching more than 100 all-conference performers, Bjorkgren coached 20 all-state honorees. Among those all-state performers is Iowa's 2001 Mr. Basketball, Tyler McKinney. The J-Hawks finished as the Class 4A runner-up in 2001, placed third in 1997 and fourth in 2007.
Bjorkgren graduated from Simpson in 1983 with degrees in business management and physical education. He was a two-year letterwinner for the basketball team, earning Second Team all-Iowa Conference honors after the 1982-83 season.
Bjorkgren began his career at Urbandale in 1983, serving as assistant boys basketball coach for five seasons before taking over as head coach in 1988. During that time he also served as a business education instructor, computer applications instructor and School to Work Coordinator.
Brad and his wife, Michele, reside in Urbandale. The couple has two children, Jake - who played baseball at Buena Vista University - and Ben, who attends Simpson and is a member of the staff as a student coach.