From Spectators to Players: Joining the Program Dad Helped Build

Alexis Jones

It’s a cold Saturday night in Rock Island. The Viking men’s and women’s basketball teams are playing a double header versus a tough CCIW opponent. 
The gymnasium is packed with lifelong Viking fans awaiting their hometown favorites to take the floor. Kids dressed in Augie blues and yellows dance to classic tunes, watching in awe as the players come running out of their locker rooms.
This is a scene very familiar to Macy Beinborn and Carter Duwa. Beinborn and Duwa are freshmen on this year’s men’s and women’s basketball rosters. If those last names sound familiar, it’s because they are heavily tied to the Augustana basketball community. 
Their fathers are Coach Mark Beinborn, the head women’s basketball coach and Coach Dallas Duwa, an assistant coach on the men’s team. Both coaches began their careers at Augustana in 2008 and have seen their respective programs become successful over the past decade. 
Their families especially have had front row seats to the success. For Macy Beinborn and Carter Duwa, that first-hand experience is why they decided to join the Augie community as roster players.
“I watched them all get better. I watched the team get better throughout the years as he [Coach Beinborn] took over the program, so I’ve kinda just grown up here pretty much,” Macy said. 
Similarly Carter grew up watching his father and coach be a motivator for the men’s team.
“I went to all the home games and some practices.I grew up always wanting to come here, and just watching them run out of the tunnel and stuff like that…it’s a dream come true.” 
Being the coach’s kid is a stereotype that has been around for a long time, but for these “coach’s kids” they see a different side of their father when it comes to stepping onto the court. 
“I don’t feel any pressure,” Macy said. “At practice it’s completely different than off the court. Once practice is over he’s so different. When he’s coaching versus just hanging out. I don’t feel like his daughter at all.”
Being coached by their father is nothing new for either player. Prior to committing to Augie, both played on AAU teams where their father was the head coach.   
The sense of understanding and belonging that the kids feel with their teammates is one that is not affected by who their father is, especially considering they have grown up around the team. 
In each situation, they have made relationships with players on the team that started before their time at Augustana. 
Teammates Gabriela Lois and Jacob Schwerbrock both played for the same AAU programs as Macy and Carter respectively. “We all know that he’s Coach Duwa’s son. But he was also a good enough player to be recruited to come here,” Schwerbrock said.
“The way that Coach B handles things, you wouldn’t even think they were related,” Lois added jokingly.
 Even though this stereotype has been something that the duo have dealt with in the past from their time at AAU ball, they are looking to move past it during their time with the Augustana basketball program. 
Teammate Lauren Hall knows what it is like to be the coach’s kid. Her father coached her at Rock Island High School. 
“Being the coach’s daughter is very difficult because at times you have to take more criticism than others,” Hall said. “For me, I try to be as supportive as possible for her [Macy] just because throughout high school I had to do it for four years.”
For both coaches, having the opportunity to watch their kids play collegiate basketball is the greatest reward. If their kids would have gone to another school, they would have played on the same nights and therefore would not have been able to see their son/daughter live in action. 
 Despite those potential drawbacks, both coaches expressed that they elected to stay out of the decision making process for the most part.  
“I only wanted her to come if the situation was right. I wanted her to have it feel right. I was more hands-off in recruiting her…The process was more her spending time with the players and the team and then me also asking our team leaders their thoughts on her coming here,” Coach Beinborn said. 
Coach Duwa was nothing but happy when asked about the opportunity to coach his son. 
“Carter and I have always had a great dad/coach player relationship. I don’t see that ever changing. He’s always been a joy to coach, and I feel lucky to get the rare chance to help coach him for four more years. He will have to earn any opportunity he gets. He knows that,” Coach Duwa said. 
The overall sentiment is that at the end of the day, the players made a decision to attend a school that they felt was the right fit. The added bonus was that they could maintain a connection with their friends and families. 
“He’s the guy I’ve looked up to my whole life,” Duwa said about his father. “I try to do what he does, and I want to be a coach when I grow up just like him.”
For the next four years, Beinborn and Duwa will be able to watch their dads like they have their entire life. Only this time around, they get to wear the Augie uniform.