Men's College Basketball: Eight-year hiatus rejuvenates Gilliss

For Bismarck State men's basketball coach Buster Gilliss, there is nothing like an eight-year hiatus to get the coaching blood flowing again. In his second season back, Buster is enjoying the job more this time.

Buster Gilliss is back in his familiar spot on the Bismarck State sideline.

"I enjoy it right now," Gilliss said. "It kind of keeps you young."

Buster is in his 33rd year of coaching basketball, but just his second year back on the bench.

"I think what I missed was the day-to-day contact," Gilliss said, "and going to the gym. I was kind of a gym rat."

Buster took eight years off and served as BSC's athletic director. But after the state cut the school's budget, Buster had to pick up his whistle again.

"The big things are the highs and lows of the coaching," Gilliss said. "The long bus ride is probably one thing that I wasn't missing."

Buster is aware that he's a seasoned veteran. And he said he has no problem relating to 18 and 19 year olds.

"I think you have to be a player's coach," Gilliss said. "There's no doubt they want structure, but there's discipline that comes with that."

Buster says he came back for one reason: He loves these players. And as long as they give him all they have, he'll do the same. And there's no time limit on that promise.

"That I don't know," Gilliss said. "One thing I did learn, is never say never."

The men are 3-3 overall. Bismarck State's next game is at home against Miles Community College in the Lane Johnson Classic.

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