WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
One out of every three children in America — or roughly 24 million children — lives in a home in which their biological father is absent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Warhill Girls Basketball Coach Bingo Brungot knows the reality of this situation all too well having grown up without the support from his biological father. With his father out of the picture, Brungot turned to sports coaches and mentors as father figures growing up.
That experience as a child shaped Brungot into the man he is today – one who wants to give back to the community and make sure no child is without a father figure of some sort in their lives.
Brungot makes a point to coach youth sports ranging from high school varsity to recreational levels year round, even in sports like lacrosse and softball, which he never played growing up.
For Brungot, simply being part of the lives of the children he coaches is more important than any win or loss.
“It’s not about the sport and it’s not about winning,” he said. “It’s about sharing what little bit of life knowledge I have and make them better people at the end of the day.”
Brungot, the athletic director for Toano Middle School, stays busy each season instructing different sports in different leagues.
In the spring, Brungot coaches Toano Middle School’s club lacrosse team and swimming for the Wellington Community Pool.
The summer is Brungot’s “quiet time,” during which he continues to coach swimming for Wellington and begins offseason workouts for Warhill’s varsity and junior varsity girls basketball teams.
During the fall, Brungot serves as an assistant coach for Toano Middle School’s football team and is still preparing with Warhill’s girls basketball teams for the upcoming season.
Brungot’s winters are dedicated to his Warhill girls varsity basketball team, which he has coached since Warhill opened in 2007.
Additionally, Brungot has coached with Colonial Capital AAU basketball, Toano Storm AAU basketball, James City County Parks and Recreation youth baseball and basketball and has held basketball camps for the Quarterpath Recreation Center. Beyond that, he has also coached sports for Bruton, Jamestown, Lafayette, Bethel and Warhill.
So much coaching over the years is a tall task, but it’s a task Brungot has not had to do alone thanks to his two kids, Nathan and Alyssa, both of whom play basketball for Warhill.
Coaching has always been about family for Brungot. Being able to coach Nathan and Alyssa — both during summer swimming and Alyssa during Warhill’s girls basketball season — while coaching with his son at Toano Middle School during lacrosse season gives him the extra energy needed when the long days can turn into long nights.
“We’re always together, which is really nice. If we weren’t together, I don’t think I’d do as much. But since it’s a family affair, we have fun with it,” he said.
Even when Brungot’s kids graduate from Warhill and go on to college, the journeyman coach has no plans on slowing down. Instead, he has his eyes set on becoming a high school athletic director so he can continue to help children develop during an important time in their lives.
As long as Brungot is able to continue making a difference in the lives of young people, you can expect to see him roaming the sidelines or teaching technique regardless of the season.
“Growing up I wasn’t fortunate enough to have a dad who cared enough to be involved. So I had to learn the hard way and get support from people outside of my father,” he said. “I don’t ever want to take the place of somebody’s parents, but I surely would want to share and be able to help kids grow.”