ALEXANDRIA — This season represents something of a homecoming for Kyle Bloom.
After two years as the boys basketball coach at Heritage Christian, the Madison County native is returning to his roots to take the reins at Alexandria. Growing up in Lapel, he often got an up-close view of legendary coach Garth Cone’s work with the county rival Tigers. So he understands the expectations, and he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“Alexandria’s ballplayers were always known for their high intensity,” Bloom recalled, “for being aggressive, for being fundamentally sound and for winning games maybe they shouldn’t.”
That, Bloom believes, is the product of a proud and hard-working community. Much like the one from which he hails.
In 2005, Bloom was a part of Jimmy Howell’s staff as the Bulldogs made the trek to a Class 2A state championship. It was a dream come true to be a part of something so special in his hometown.
“It was everything I ever thought it would be,” Bloom said. “The caravans to and from places, the further you go, the more people follow you.”
Bloom’s always wanted to lead a program of his own, however, and he jumped at the chance to take over at Heritage Christian in 2011. In his two seasons — playing against a strong schedule that included the likes of Cathedral, Chatard and Guerin Catholic — the Eagles finished 24-21 and twice reached the sectional championship game.
Bloom enjoyed his time at the school and said he likely would have returned this season if not for the opportunity at Alexandria. Heritage Christian was about a 45-minute commute each day. Coaching the Tigers requires just a five-minute trip from Bloom’s Farm Bureau Insurance office.
That leaves more time for family. The fact he’s also pursuing his life’s work is just a bonus.