Windy City Bulls coach Loenser embraces new challenge, new team

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Nate Loenser was hired as the first Windy City Bulls coach last week. The former Chicago Bulls video coordinator will continue to rely on his working relationship with Bulls coach Fred Holberg.

New Windy City Bulls coach Nate Loenser never has been one to look ahead.

When he was hired last summer as the video coordinator for Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, Loenser never worried about what would come next. If he did, Loenser believed he would be cheating himself out of the opportunity in front of him.

Loenser expects his players to have that same focus as the Windy City Bulls prepare for their inaugural season in the NBA Development League. As Loenser, 37, tackles his first professional head-coaching assignment, he won’t focus on where success in the D-League could lead.

“I’m a firm believer if you take one day at a time and make the most out of every single day and put good days together time and time again, it will lead to great things,” Loenser said.

Loenser was hired by the Windy City Bulls last week after spending the last three years working for Hoiberg, including two at Iowa State, where he served as the Cyclones’ director of player development.

His familiarity with Hoiberg’s system was a big plus for team officials, who want a seamless transition between the Bulls and their D-League affiliate.

The offensive similarities from a Hoiberg-coached team will be evident. Loenser also will rely on defensive strategies he gleaned from Larry Eustachy, his former basketball boss at Southern Mississippi. But Loenser realizes the importance of making this team and this job his own.

“At the end of the day, I have to make sure I’m still my own person and that I don’t try and be someone else,” he said.

Despite being born with a partial left arm, Loesner was a multisport athlete in high school. He played baseball at Iowa State, where he walked on as a senior after initially being cut.

While others might focus on his arm that never fully developed, Loenser continues to work on shaping himself as a coach and a person.

“If we concentrate on what’s positive in our lives, then we choose to be happy,” Loenser said. “If we concentrate on the negative, you choose the decision to be unhappy.”

That’s a lesson he will pass on to his players, who might have NBA aspirations. Loenser also will stress a live-in-the-moment approach that has gotten him this far.

“Sometimes, we can make the mistake of worrying about the next step and not do a great job on the step we’re on currently,” Loenser said.


The 20th annual Chicago half-marathon will be held Sunday. Corrals open at 5:30 a.m. The wheelchair race begins at 6:45, and the half-marathon begins at 7. At 7:35, the wheelchair 5K race will begin, with the 5K run beginning 10 minutes later.

The course winds through Hyde Park, continues on Lake Shore Drive and finishes at Jackson Park. The event also features a health and fitness expo on Friday and Saturday at Soldier Field.

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