Kyle Braheny: More Than Just a Job


Girls varsity basketball coach and math teacher Kyle Braheny in his classroom.

By Sam Galanopoulos, Staff Writer

The typical work day for many teachers consists of waking up early, coming to school, teaching throughout the day, and going home to repeat the same schedule until Friday comes. But for math teacher and girls varsity basketball head coach Kyle Braheny, the work day never ends. Being in the classroom all day just scratches the surface of what Braheny’s passion really is: the game of basketball.

Growing up, Braheny always loved basketball. Whether he was watching college basketball or attending NBA games, he was hypnotized, which translated into his athletic background.

“My very first basketball team I was on was for the YMCA league in Schaumburg when I was around 5 years old. I was very sports driven when I was young and whatever sport were offered, I played,” Braheny said.

Braheny attended the University of Iowa, following in the footsteps of generations of his family. Iowa offered hundreds of majors, but education and math stood out to him. While studying the fascinating world of numbers, Braheny wanted athletic involvement, so he decided to become a manager and practice player for the men’s basketball team at Iowa.

“When I decided to go to Iowa, working for the basketball team was not something I intended. It wasn’t until the summer going into my freshman year that I was contacted about a position as a manager/practice player, which I tried out for,” Braheny said.

Aside from playing basketball, Braheny also has a passion for coaching. Many student athletes have experienced Braheny in the classroom and out on the court. Junior Sidney Hines has great things to say about his teaching approach when it comes to both math and basketball.

“When I had Braheny in class, it was awesome. He was super energetic and very approachable when I needed help. He did a very good job of aiding your needs without making it an issue,” Hines said. “Having him as a coach now is super cool. He has already made a big impact on our team and program, bringing youth and great experience. Braheny has done a great job being a teacher of the game and earning our trust before the season even started.”

With coaching both girls and boys and teaching multiple grade levels, Braheny continues to spread his knowledge to everyone. Colleagues compliment Braheny’s positive attitude and continuous drive to help those around him. Math and science para-professional Dimitri Tripkos admires Braheny’s approach to handling situations and dealing with unpredictable teens.

“I think Braheny exemplifies what a teacher should do: be positive, be open, and be approachable for help. His positivity in the classroom is an environment that his students are able to thrive in, and I have seen it on the court. The girls respond to him in a way that is a team concept, and they trust Braheny,” Tripkos said. “He is great at what he does, and he doesn’t get praised enough. He ignites the lives of many people every single day at West.”

Everyone has their own way of “getting away” from reality and going into their own world. Whether it’s sports, music, or acting, everyone has something that allows them to break off and indulge their passion. In Braheny’s case, basketball is his escape. From 8:10am to 3:23pm, Braheny gives it his all in the classroom, and brings it to the after-hours of the day to be long-lasting on the court.