Andy Nussbaum celebrates his 700th win as head coach of Central girls basketball


D'Niya Little-Segers

Girls varsity basketball head coach Andy Nussbaum gives his team a pep talk before their game on Nov. 18. He reached 700 wins on Jan. 7.

Nolan Shen, Staff Writer

Varsity girls basketball head coach Andy Nussbaum earned his 700th career win after defeating Plainfield Central High School 56-49 on Jan. 7.

“It would be dishonest to say I didn’t think about it at all [during the game],” Nussbaum said. “But my primary thinking was ‘This was a game that we gotta win.’” 

According to Nussbaum, there was an interesting intersection between winning a small game and Nussbaum reaching 700 wins. 

“It’s sort of a macro versus micro look at things,” Nussbaum said.

Nussbaum joined the girls basketball staff in 1982 and became the head coach in 1988. He also serves as the head coach of the girls softball team, with whom he has also reached 700 games won. 

Nussbaum’s 40-year career with the team has been filled with plenty of ups and downs. The highlight of his career has been winning the IHSA state championship in the 2002-2003 season, he said. The team included future WNBA MVP Candace Parker and ended with a perfect 35-0 record. 

The team currently has a 14-9 record, and is currently in 4th place in the DuPage Valley Conference. Looking forward to the rest of the season, Nussbaum said he has hope. 

“We’ve had a little bit of an up and down year until this current streak,” Nussbaum said. “But I think now we seem to be all moving in the right direction and we’ve got a lot of potential as a team.” 

Reflecting on his achievement, Nussbaum acknowledged Central’s long history of talent.

“A very large percentage of our credit goes to the players that we’ve had,” Nussbaum said. “There are not a lot of other schools where I could have won 700 games besides Central.” 

A group of eight upperclassmen leads this year’s team, joined by talented underclassmen, including the team’s leading scorer freshman Trinity Jones.

Nussbaum has been the varsity head coach of two varsity girls teams throughout his career.

“I’m not a crusader of any kind, but I’ve given the girls as much attention as I would if it was a boys team,” Nussbaum said. “To me, the girls basketball team is no less important than the boys basketball team. Girls sports are just as important as boys sports. You’ve got clowns on the radio who don’t think [girls sports] are that important, but they probably don’t have any daughters.”

Senior shooting guard Kendall Lenz notes how Nussbaum has helped her throughout her basketball career at Central.

“He sees the potential that every player has,” Lenz said. “Coach Nuss does not give up on anyone.”