Baseball Pro Windham Winters at Monroe St. Mary as Dad's Assistant Coach

By Doug Donnelly
Special for

December 15, 2022

When Bryce Windham was about 6 years old, he was the ball boy for the Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central basketball team.  

Southeast & BorderAt halftime, rather than go inside the locker room, Bryce would stay on the court and shoot 3-pointers. 

“He was the halftime entertainment,” SMCC head boys basketball coach Randy Windham said. “I’d hear some big cheers, and I’d open the door and look out and just shake my head. Bryce would be out there shooting 3s.” 

Bryce is now 26 and a minor league baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization. Being a professional baseball player hasn’t changed who he is or where he is. Only now, Bryce goes into the locker room because he’s an assistant coach for his dad’s SMCC Falcons. 

“He’s ready right now,” Randy Windham said. “He could be head coach right now. I tell him, ‘Once you are done messing around with the baseball thing, you can coach this team.’” 

Bryce had a dream high school sports career at SMCC.  

He was the Falcons’ starting shortstop, point guard on the basketball team, and was quarterback for the football team. He was all-state in all three sports. He quarterbacked SMCC to the 2014 Division 6 championship in football. The Falcons boys basketball team – coached by his dad – reached the 2015 Class C Quarterfinals. He was MVP of the 2015 all-star baseball game at Comerica Park. 

“He’s always been a thinker, no matter what sport he’s been in,” Randy Windham said. “He’s always analyzed the game. That helps. He’s so humble. That’s the best thing about him.” 

Bryce could have played basketball at the University of Toledo, but took a different turn when Old Dominion University offered him a baseball scholarship. 

“I was nowhere’s near as good at baseball as I was at basketball,” he said. “I didn’t think I was very good. I wanted to see how good I could be at baseball.” 

The lure of Virginia Beach, Va., helped push him to baseball, too. It was a couple of years into baseball on the east coast that he picked up catching. After graduating, he ended up getting drafted by the Cubs and is now at the Double A level.  

Bryce reports back to the Cubs on Feb. 17. He expects to return to the Tennessee Smokies, where he played last season. 

) Bryce Windham mans the plate this summer for the Tennessee Smokies, a Cubs affiliate. “Double A is where the prospects are. Players are competitive, pushing hard,” he said. “I think they really want me to get some at-bats and get more miles catching on my body.” 

For now, in Monroe, he works out daily to stay in shape, hits the batting cages to keep his swing sharp and works at the family business. He will leave for baseball just at the time SMCC begins final preparations for the District tournament, and he’s okay with that. 

“By then, the teaching is done,” he said. 

It’s no shocker that Bryce is coaching in his spare time. Not only is his dad an ultra-successful boys basketball coach at SMCC, but his mom Kim also has had great success coaching volleyball in Monroe County for years. As soon as Bryce’s high school career was finished, he started to coach. 

“I started helping right after I graduated high school,” Bryce said. “In college, I’d come home, and I’d practice with the guys. That allowed me to stay in shape, and I kind of kept the relationship with guys. Once I officially graduated from college, I jumped right into coaching.” 

“I always felt like a player-coach when I played,” Bryce continued. “I felt like I knew what was going on, even outside of myself.” 

Coaching just came naturally. 

“I knew that was something I wanted to do. It’s because of him,” he said, pointing to his dad. “He was my coach from fifth grade all the way up. I knew the game. I tell my pitching coach all the time that if my baseball IQ was as high as my basketball IQ, I’d be in the Major Leagues right now.” 

Randy Windham is in his 14th season as the SMCC varsity coach. He took over for longtime coach Ray Lauwers and built on that success and brought the Falcons to new heights, with multiple deep runs in the postseason. He came into this winter with a record of 229-71. A lot of those wins came with Bryce on the court. Another victory during his tenure actually belongs to Bryce as coach. 

Randy was ill last year and, for the first time in nearly three decades of coaching, he sat out a game. Bryce took the reins and led SMCC to a Huron League win at Milan.  

“I was so nervous,” Bryce said. “I’m glad it was on the road. If it would have been at home with all the home fans, I would have been more nervous.” 

Randy said he was comfortable with missing the game because he knew Bryce would be fine.  

“I give him a lot of responsibility now,” Randy said. “He’s ready right now to be a head coach. He’s ready for that. Coaches must do more than Xs and Os. A coach must be able to handle problems before they happen. He’s ready for that. I can walk away from practice, and he can handle it.” 

“He just knows the game so well. I know for a fact that I could step away, and the success would continue. He’s natural at it.” 

Windham said having his son on the bench next to him provides a lot of comfort, and the players like having him there. Bryce rarely talks about being a professional baseball player, but that gets the attention and respect of the players right away. 

“He’s helped me come back,” Randy said. “I’ve been around here 25 years (including his time as an assistant to Lauwers). He helps refresh me. In the fall, he comes back and jumps right into the skill work with the kids. That allows me to refresh and have the energy to coach this time of year. I love this time of year.” 

For now, Bryce will continue to pursue professional baseball but knows coaching is in his future at some point. 

“I’m still an athlete and a coach. Right now, I kind of have that bridge between the players and (my dad). I keep them out of trouble. I catch things before he catches it. I bring a lot of energy to practice every day. Basketball practice is so much fun,” Windham said. 

He also has a different perspective now as an assistant coach, but one he relishes. As he said, again referring to his father, “I only know what I know because of him.”

Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS (Top) At left, coach Randy Windham and his son/point guard Bryce Windham confer during Monroe St. Mary’s Regional run in 2014. At right, Randy talks things over this season with Bryce, now his assistant coach. (Middle) Bryce Windham mans the plate this summer for the Tennessee Smokies, a Cubs affiliate. (Top photos by Tom Hawley and Doug Donnelly, respectively. Middle photo by Mike Krebs.)

Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Boys District Preview

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 26, 2024

Being “Breslin Bound” takes on a whole new meaning starting tonight for more than 700 boys basketball teams across Michigan.

MI Student AidDistrict play begins this evening, and two weeks from Thursday we’ll be tipping off our first Semifinals at Michigan State University.

We always switch up our “Breslin Bound” format just a bit once the MHSAA Tournament starts, as last week’s most intriguing results below are followed this time by glances at three District brackets of note in each division. Host sites are bolded, and teams playing in those brackets are listed in order of how they stack up by Michigan Power Rating (MPR), with the top seeds listed first.

Everything you could want to know this week about tickets, brackets and more can be found on the Boys Basketball page. To watch any of several games online, visit the NFHS Network.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:

2. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 73, Detroit Cass Tech 41 If this Operation Friendship win for the Eaglets (20-1) over reigning Division 1 champion Cass Tech (20-2) is an indication of its momentum heading into the postseason, watch out.

2. Saline 69, Ann Arbor Huron 60 The Hornets (18-4) finished Southeastern Conference Red play by downing then co-leader Huron (17-4) to clinch the league championship outright.

3. Dearborn 65, Canton 52 The Pioneers (22-0) claimed the overall Kensington Lakes Activities Association title and finished a perfect regular season with a solid win over KLAA West champ Canton (18-4).

4. Saginaw Heritage 80, Flint Powers Catholic 40 The Hawks (18-3) clinched a share of their eventual outright Saginaw Valley League title, made more impressive as eight of the league’s 13 teams including Powers (17-5) finished above .500 for the regular season.

5. Mancelona 54, Bellaire 52 Although the Ironmen (17-5) lost their regular-season finale to Charlevoix two days later, this win was the one they needed as it secured a shared Ski Valley Conference title with Bellaire (18-4).

Laingsburg’s Zander Woodruff (23) puts up a shot during his team’s 90-27 win over Bath last week.

Districts at a Glance

These could be among our most competitive brackets. Host sites are in bold:


Detroit Martin Luther King
No. 1 Detroit Cass Tech (20-2), No. 2 Grosse Pointe South (18-4), Detroit Martin Luther King (14-6), Detroit Western (10-10), Grosse Pointe North (9-12).

The reigning Division 1 champion Technicians have been mostly unstoppable again, with their only loss besides last week’s to St. Mary’s (see above) coming to Zeeland West (15-7) on Jan. 20 in East Kentwood. Cass Tech opens against GPN in a District Semifinal, and all three opponents on the other side of the bracket could make for a strong District Final matchup. GPS is coming off a league tournament championship and has won 13 of its last 14 games. The Blue Devils will see in their District Semifinal the King/Western winner; Western gave Cass Tech a four-point game earlier this season before losing the rematch 69-42, and King took Cass Tech to overtime in their Jan. 24 matchup.

No. 1 East Lansing (20-2), No. 2 Okemos (18-4), Mason (20-2), Holt (9-13), Lansing Everett (9-11).

East Lansing has been among the leaders in Division 1 MPR all season and entered second on the list only to St. Mary’s (see above), with its only losses to St. Mary’s and Warren Lincoln. Holt gave East Lansing a nine-point game in their second meeting Feb. 12, but otherwise the Trojans defeated the Rams and Everett by solid margins. But the District Final matchup against either Okemos or Mason – which face each other Wednesday – should be much more challenging. East Lansing did sweep the regular-season series with the Wolves, 66-54 and 68-55, but winning that third matchup often is tougher – and the home-team Bulldogs would bring some unfamiliarity if they advance instead.

Muskegon Mona Shores
No. 1 Muskegon (19-2), No. 2 Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (19-3), Muskegon Mona Shores (14-8), Greenville (13-9), Cedar Springs (4-18).

The Muskegon High/Reeths-Puffer matchups were among the most followed this regular season, as Reeths-Puffer stunned the reigning Division 1 runner-up 63-45 on Jan. 30, but Muskegon came back to win the rematch 48-28 on Feb. 9. They ended up sharing the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green championship (with Mona Shores fourth) and would see each other again in Friday’s District Final. The Rockets face Mona Shores in a District Semifinal on one side of the bracket, while Muskegon may see Greenville – which finished fifth in an O-K White that was one of the deepest leagues in the state.


Detroit Pershing
No. 1 Warren Lincoln (17-4), No. 2 Ferndale (13-8), Detroit Pershing (11-8), Detroit Osborn (10-11), Hazel Park (7-15), Ferndale University (3-18).

Lincoln is the only team that’s been among the top two in Division 2 MPR to begin every week since the start of the calendar year, and its only losses were to Division 1 opponents who all won at least 15 games this season. But Ferndale is the reigning Division 2 champion and also has remained high on that MPR list in part because of its loaded schedule. The Eagles are 9-3 over their last 12, with all of their losses this season to Division 1 opponents – and seven of those defeats to teams that finished the regular season among the top 18 on the statewide D1 MPR list.

Hudsonville Unity Christian
No. 1 Grand Rapids Christian (20-2), No. 2 Hudsonville Unity Christian (18-4), Grand Rapids South Christian (17-5), Wyoming Godwin Heights (16-5), Kentwood Grand River Prep (13-6), Wyoming Kelloggsville (2-20).

Grand Rapids Christian has spent most of the season at the top of the statewide Division 2 MPR list, with its only losses to Warren Lincoln, by two Jan. 20, and then by six to Division 1 Byron Center on Feb. 6. The Eagles face one of the strongest Districts in any division this week, and have seen only one possible opponent – South Christian, who they defeated 58-48 on Dec. 5. South Christian, Godwin Heights and Unity all are on the other side of the bracket, and the Sailors defeated Unity 58-56 in their lone meeting Dec. 15. Godwin Heights faces South Christian tonight and has won 12 of its last 14.

No. 1 Ludington (16-6), No. 2 Reed City (18-4), Big Rapids (16-6), Manistee (10-12), Hart (12-10), Mason County Central (9-13).

Ludington was the runner-up in the West Michigan Conference Lakes to undefeated Whitehall, and the Orioles have won 10 of their last 12 games with only defeats to Whitehall and Division 1 Cadillac (20-2) breaking up the string. They could be in for a tough matchup right away Wednesday; Manistee and Big Rapids face off tonight on that side of the bracket, and Big Rapids finished last week with a 48-46 win over Reed City in the Central State Activities Association Tournament final. The Coyotes also lost to Cadillac over the last two weeks, but already have a win over possible District Semifinal opponent Mason County Central and did defeat Big Rapids in their first meeting Dec. 8, 49-30. And don’t forget Hart, which went 23-1 just a year ago and has won nine of its last 12 after a slow start.


No. 1 Charlevoix (17-5), No. 2 Harbor Springs (15-7), Mancelona (17-5), Elk Rapids (15-7), East Jordan (8-14), Johannesburg-Lewiston (6-16).

This District includes two league champions – but not the teams one might expect by the seeding. Elk Rapids won the Lake Michigan Conference with Charlevoix and Harbor Springs tied for second, and Mancelona (see above) was the co-champion in the Ski Valley Conference. The Elks have won 11 straight games and swept both Charlevoix and Harbor Springs, making a 1-6 start this winter a distant memory. They are on the same side of the bracket as Mancelona and Charlevoix and face Mancelona tonight; the Ironmen are coming off a 65-37 loss to Charlevoix last week but did open this season with a 50-41 win over Harbor Springs.

East Jackson
No. 1 Jackson Lumen Christi (18-4), 2. Michigan Center (19-3), Napoleon (19-3), Springport (15-7), East Jackson (8-14).

This District features three league champs, as Lumen Christi shared the Catholic High School League AA title, and Michigan Center and Napoleon were co-champions of the Cascades Conference East – with Napoleon then winning the crossover with West champ Hanover-Horton last week. Michigan Center claimed the first Napoleon matchup 50-38 on Dec. 21, while Napoleon won the second 50-44 on Jan. 25, and they wouldn’t see each other again until the District Final. To get there, Michigan Center will have to get through East Jackson and Lumen – and the Titans took a 72-65 win over the Cardinals on Dec. 28. Napoleon faces Springport in the other District Semifinal, the Spartans coming off a third-place finish in the Big 8 Conference.

Harbor Beach
No. 1 Cass City (21-1), No. 2 Harbor Beach (19-3), Caro (12-9), Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker (13-9), Bad Axe (6-16), Unionville-Sebewaing (5-17).

This could see another colossal District Final matchup, as Cass City’s only loss this winter was 56-43 to Harbor Beach on Feb. 9. But both could run into obstacles on the way to Friday. Cass City faces the winner of Caro and USA in a District Semifinal, and while the Red Hawks swept both during the regular season, they defeated Caro only 62-60 in their second meeting Feb. 2. Harbor Beach won their single matchups with possible District Semifinal opponents Laker and Bad Axe, both by double digits – but both Laker and Bad Axe gave Cass City nail-biters only a few weeks ago.


Adrian Lenawee Christian
No. 1 Adrian Lenawee Christian (19-3), No. 2 Britton Deerfield (16-6), Petersburg Summerfield (18-4), Ann Arbor Central Academy (6-13), Morenci (1-20).

Lenawee Christian won the Tri-County Conference and Petersburg Summerfield finished tied for second, with Lenawee winning their matchups 69-62 on Jan. 16 and 56-53 on Feb. 9. They will meet in the second District Semifinal on Wednesday, with Britton Deerfield on the other side of the bracket. The Patriots finished fourth in the TCC and also were swept by Lenawee Christian, but they did split with Summerfield, winning the first meeting 42-41 on Dec. 8 as part of a 9-0 start and before the Bulldogs won the rematch 59-53 on Jan. 23.

No. 1 Marcellus Howardsville Christian (17-5), No. 2 Colon (13-8), Mendon (14-8), Burr Oak (13-9), Marcellus (9-11), Athens (0-22).

Howardsville Christian finished third in the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference and has won eight straight and 10 of its last 11 games after a tough January stretch that included a 69-51 loss to Mendon on Jan. 20. Mendon isn’t seeded but did tie Colon for third in the Southern Central Athletic Association West (with Burr Oak fifth), defeating the Magi 55-50 in its season opener but then losing to Colon 65-50 in the Jan. 19 rematch. Mendon and Howardsville Christian could see each other again Wednesday, if the Hornets get by Burr Oak tonight, with Colon on the other side of the bracket.

Maple City Glen Lake
No. 1 Maple City Glen Lake (18-4), No. 2 Frankfort (15-7), Traverse City Christian (16-6), Suttons Bay (7-13), Lake Leelanau St. Mary (7-14), Leland (4-17), Grand Traverse Academy (2-20).

Glen Lake moved into Division 4 this season and enters the tournament 18-4 for the second straight and with victories over every team in this bracket except Grand Traverse, which the Lakers didn’t play. Glen Lake finished second in the Northwest Conference to Division 3 Benzie Central, but did sweep Frankfort along the way and also defeated Traverse City Christian 69-41 on Jan. 19. Another matchup with either would come in the District Final, and Frankfort and TC Christian face off tonight, at TC Christian, for the first time this season. Frankfort reached the Division 4 Semifinals a year ago and defeated a pair of league champions last week in Rudyard and Baldwin to tune up for another run.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) Saginaw Heritage’s Tyler Ode throws down a dunk during his team’s 80-40 win Thursday over Flint Powers Catholic. (Middle) Laingsburg’s Zander Woodruff (23) puts up a shot during his team’s 90-27 win over Bath last week. (Top photo by Terry Lyons, middle photo by Click by Christine McCallister.)