Adam Urness wins for the first time at GHV, committed to building the GHV program

There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the GHV girls’ basketball team last March. Following the end of the season, the Cardinals lost their head coach, and just over 60 percent of the team scoring due to graduation. The program needed a leader, which is just what the GHV school board found in Adam Urness.

“I’m originally from Clarion, and that’s where I live and work, so I’ve always known Garner as the ‘basketball school’,” Urness told KIOW. “I saw the job opening and threw my hat in the ring, and so far, it’s been a great marriage.”

Urness has a history of player development and coaching experience. He spent three seasons as an assistant student coach for the Simpson men’s basketball team before a stint as a graduate assistant at Drake. He would later return to Simpson as the assistant men’s basketball coach before working on Bill Fennelly’s staff at Iowa State.

Day 1 – I said it day one, we have to build our program up. Right now, we have 17 girls out (for basketball), and there is no reason that number can’t be closer to 25-30″, coach Urness stated. I want Garner girls basketball to be a big thing, and it starts with youth development, he added.

The Cardinals are coming off their second straight winning season after five years of losing seasons. Though along with a new coach, the Cards needed to replace Chole Frank and Liz Richardson, who have since gone on to play college basketball.

We do have experience coming back; our third leading scorer came off the bench. We return three starters, but losing 65 percent of your scoring is tough”. Urness stated about his program. “The athletes are here, we have a deep junior class, and our seniors have experience. The biggest thing in the transition this year is getting everyone to accept new roles”. 

GHV started their season on Friday night, traveling to rival Forest City. The Cardinals led for much of the game but lost the lead late in the fourth quarter and fell in overtime. The outcome wasn’t what they wanted, but GHV fans got a taste of what is to come. They saw a firey-energized coach and a team that responded, playing with the same passion. They broke the school record with 61 rebounds and, at times, played a suffocating defense.

“We got into foul trouble late, and the score (71-57) didn’t indicate what the game was. I’m glad we got to play, and what a great environment for a high school girls basketball game”, Urness said.

The Cardinals led 40-32 heading into the fourth quarter, and after Forest City came back to force overtime, GHV ran out of steam, getting outscored 16-2 in the extra period.

The loss was quickly forgotten, and the Cardinals turned around Saturday to beat North Iowa, 49-36 – earning Urness his first win.

It worked out great. Any time after you lose, if you can play the next day and get an opportunity to change your mindset, it’s a great opportunity to have”. 

Urness also said he hopes GHV fans can get out and support the Cardinals this year, and he says they will put a tough product on the floor and hopes teams fear having to play GHV.

KIOW’s full interview with Urness:


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