BRADENTON -- John Biezuns left his second meeting with Bayshore on the same page as the school administration.
The Bruins had homed in on a three-year stretch of Biezuns' resume -- his time at Southwest High School in Minneapolis, Minn. -- that yielded nearly 20 wins and the first playoff win in program history.
Athletic director Chris Brady was intrigued enough to make Biezuns one of the 13 candidates he interviewed for the job and kept him on the list when BHS settled on four finalists. Principal David Underhill wanted Biezuns to elaborate on it in person: Why was Bayshore, which hasn't had a winning season since 2003, an interesting job for Biezuns?
"That's me in a nutshell. If you ask my family, if you ask any former players, this is what I thrive on doing," Biezuns said. "I'm not saying I'm a god, or I can change programs or work magic, but if you follow the system good things will happen."
That sentiment persuaded Bayshore officials. Brady announced Biezuns' hire as the Bruins new head coach Thursday.
Biezuns spent last season as the offensive coordinator at Port St. Lucie and has been an assistant coach in three states each of the past three seasons after serving as a head coach for five years at a pair of schools in his native Minnesota. He expects his first day at BHS to be April 4, giving him three weeks in Bradenton before spring practice begins April 25. He will also teach at Bayshore.
Based on Biezuns' first impressions of the Bruins, he said he feels there are some similarities to the Lakers program he turned around from 2010-12. The schools are similar in size, but have struggled with numbers on the football team. Increasing interest in the program is one of Biezuns' first goals.
Southwest historically struggled with football, but the Lakers were a basketball power in the state. Biezuns drummed up interest in his team by hosting a three-on-three basketball tournament, engaging the student body head on, and eventually drawing some of the 6-foot-3 and 6-4 basketball players who played wide receiver in Biezuns' spread offense.
"He had some ideas in terms of getting interest in the kids, bringing participation numbers up," Brady said.
Biezuns took the Lakers to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons and culminated his run in 2012 with an 8-2 campaign, which also included a postseason victory. He moved on after the season to start his journey south, beginning with one-year stints as an assistant at Sanderson in Raleigh, N.C., and at Ola in McDonough, Ga.
Last year was his first in Florida. He was part of an 0-9 season during which the Jaguars' offense averaged 11.9 points per game.
"Obviously, the coach has to be held accountable, so I take responsibility for not putting up enough points, but there were just a lot of things programmatically-slash-philosophically that I did not agree with."
Biezuns describes himself as "a players' coach," who relishes structure and feels comfortable adjusting to his personnel.
He was a tackle at Division III University of Wisconsin-River Falls, but has spent almost half of his career coaching defense. He found success at Southwest with a spread offense, but also used a flexbone rushing attack during his two years as head coach at Robbinsdale Cooper in New Hope, Minn.
Biezuns said he understands the challenges of succeeding in Manatee County. He knows it can be hard to compete with storied programs such as Manatee or even the looming specter of IMG Academy. Those schools also accentuate his desire to be somewhere like BHS.
"I really want to build something up," Biezuns said. "I like the struggle factor of maybe not being to the playoffs in a while, getting back there, winning a playoff game -- that it intrigues me. It really does."
David Wilson, Herald sports writer, can be contacted at 941-745-7057 or on Twitter @DBWilson2.