After spending more than 26 years at Providence Day – 13 as a student and player from 1981-1994 and 13 as a teacher and coach – Brian Field’s desire to transform boys’ basketball into a top program has never wavered.“Growing up on this campus and spending most of my life here, Providence Day means the world to me,” said Field, who played college basketball at Sewanee. “I grew up idolizing the players in the 1980s and then went onto to play for Dave Price. Now as the head coach I want to help make this team not only one of the premier programs in the city, but in the state. “I’m very lucky to have been a part of this program for so long. This has always been my dream job.”Field came back to Providence Day as a coach and a teacher in 2000, spending his first six years as an assistant coach.After seven years as the Chargers’ head coach, Field, 37, finally has his team on top of the CISAA going into the final week of the regular season. The Chargers are 21-6 overall (5-1 in league play through Feb. 7), already the best mark in his tenure. The Chargers have a chance to win their first outright CISAA title since 1999, the year before Field came back to Providence Day as an assistant under Dave Carrier, and first league title of any type since sharing it with Charlotte Christian in 2001.Providence Day has beaten defending N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state champion Ravenscroft by 15 and Charlotte Christian, who has won 10 of last 11 CISAA titles, by 10 and 24.“It feels great to be on top, it’s very humbling,” said Field, who is 103-99 as a head coach at Providence Day. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into getting here, from our players in the past to the present team. It’s been frustrating at times and it’s been really fun at times. But I’m proud of our guys, including our coaches, for continuing to fight.”Field says he saw his current team coming together last season. That group had several key injuries and no seniors, but hung tough (13-17) in one of the state’s most unforgiving conferences. The same team, with the addition of several key freshman, took their momentum into the summer and fall, giving Field and his veteran staff – assistants Jonathan McIntyre and Mike Boyer – a lot of reasons to be optimistic.“I knew we would be much improved this year,” Field said. “But I don’t think anyone was thinking about 21 wins and leading the conference.” That is exactly where Providence Day is right now, led by the backcourt duo of senior Bryon Fields (15 points per game) and junior Jordan Watkins (17), who have both scored their 1,000th points this season.Fields will play football next season at Duke and Watkins is committed to play basketball at Davidson, but for now both are concentrating on leading the Chargers. “Bryon and Jordan are two of the most humble kids you will ever meet and they are a big reason we are where are now,” Field said. “They are great leaders for us on and off the court.”While Fields and Watkins play the lead roles, just how far Providence Day can go in the postseason will also depend on the supporting cast. That group begins with sophomore point guard Chaz Raye, who has been a steady floor leader, averaging less than a turnover per game. Field says junior forward Devin Mills (10 ppg, 5 rpg) has been their most improved player, while freshmen forward Grant Williams (8 ppg, 5 rpg), has also flashed, “star potential.”The Chargers also have a solid bench with freshmen Isaac Johnson and Josh Howard (son of former NBA player Juwan Howard), sophomore Miles Bowser and senior James Yeldell.“It’s great to finally see all of our hard work paying off,” said Fields, who has started since his sophomore year. “The past couple years, we have taken our lumps. So, it’s been nice to give it back to some of the teams that were beating us. We really want to go out on top (of the CISAA) and go as far as we can.”The Chargers hope that all begins in the next few weeks, first with a CISAA title and then a deep run in the NCISAA 3A playoffs, where they haven’t past the second round in Field’s tenure.“This has been a great season and we have a lot to be proud of, so far,” Field said. “But we hope we are a long way from done. We hope this is just the beginning of a special run now and in the future.” Story went to print before Providence Day’s game against Charlotte Country Day Feb. 8.
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013
Providence Day coach takes former team to the top
Brian Field spent 13 years as a student and 13 more as a coach at Providence Day
Providence Day head coach Brian Field, with the help of players like Jordan Watkins (3), has led the Chargers to the top of the CISAA conference. Field went to school at Providence Day for 13 years before coming back to coach. Jeff Siner - firstname.lastname@example.org
Providence Day head basketball coach Brian Field. Robert Lahser - email@example.com