MADISON — For Nick Gustin, the winter months are all about the fundamentals of shooting, dribbling and good defensive positioning on the hardwood.
During the summer months, it’s more about hitting the fairways, chipping and putting.
Whatever the season, Gustin said the year goes by in a hurry when he enjoys as much as he does.
The head basketball boys coach for the Madison Blue Streaks during the winter sports season, Gustin is PGA Professional and Senior Golf Course Manager at Erie Shores Golf Course, where he runs daily operations and spends time teaching the game of golf in the summer months.
“The good thing is they’re opposite seasons,” Gustin said of wearing the two hats. “Basketball is in the winter and golf in the summer. Living in Ohio, it’s makes the year go pretty fast.”
Gustin competed in the PGA Professional Championship at Belfair of Bluffton, South Carolina at the end of April. He fired a 172 over two rounds.
As a kid, Gustin was involved in about every sport there was — football, basketball, track and others. Golf came along because his mother had a job with the Lake County metroparks.
“I got to play at a discounted rate,” he said. “So, me and a couple of friends we played a lot and I got pretty good at it.”
He was also pretty good at roundball.
Gustin was introduced into coaching in 1999 when then Madison coach Bob Peterlin asked him to help out on a volunteer basis with the film and stats part of running a team. From there, people took notice of his work ethic and attention to detail.
“I was pretty fortunate that some people liked how I was coaching and they kept me along,” Gustin said. “I ended up back in Madison a year ago, so it’s all kind of been full circle.”
He took over the Blue Streak program last season after Pat Moran bolted for an assistant position at John Carroll.
In his first season at the helm, Gustin led Madison to a 12-12 record.
Though the sports are completely different, the gratification is equal.
“When you give a golf lesson, you never know what to expect,” Gustin said. “When you help someone, especially to hit a golf ball, it’s gratifying for you but for the person you’re giving that lesson because they’re really trying to do something that’s really hard.
“I think sometimes people don’t realize how hard golf is. The best story I hear is when a guy comes to me and says I played a whole round with one ball, so when you hear about people shooting their best rounds and that kind of thing, that’s very gratifying.”
Basketball, of course, is a completely different sport, but Gustin said that the gratification is similar as to when a player or in the case of basketball, a group of players are able to nail down what their coach has been working on with them.
“It’s when the players get it,” he said. “When you let them go, just let them play, you’ve done all the scouting reports and the preparation and it all falls into place and there’s that two or three games where they are playing really well. You just sit back and watch them and enjoy it. So, there’s definitely a little crossover, some gratification from that positive feedback you get from both sports.”