He remembers working late at the local bar in town and counting up all the money he made in tips at the end of the night.
Bartending came easily to him, but when it came to running his first basketball program, he went through some growing pains.
“I can’t imagine that I knew what I was doing when I took the job,” said Brock.
A lot of his basketball knowledge at the time came from what he learned in his years playing and coaching on Alden Street. He decided to run an offense at Drew that was similar to the one Bilik was running at Springfield.
The flex offense, as it is commonly known, uses high and low screens to get open shots under the hoop and jump shots around the elbow.
Although the choice to run the offense was one of necessity at the time, Brock adopted the strategy in the following years and it is something he continues to run at Springfield.
Drew had a breakout campaign in his third year. The team went undefeated in conference games for, what still remains as, the second time in the school’s history.
Brock admits he was naive in those early days, but he found his way.
“I knew enough to get some things done.”
Brock didn’t even know how to pronounce Gustavus Adolphus when he first arrived on the college’s campus, but he learned over the next three years.
He started coaching with the Lions in 1986 after four seasons at Drew.
The winters in New England and New Jersey were something that he was accustomed to, but they were nothing like January in St. Paul, Minn.
A blizzard in 1988 wreaked havoc on most of the state. Winds reached upwards of 60 mph, snow drifts were up to seven feet high. He remembers sometimes having to take his car’s battery out and charging it overnight to make sure he would get to work on time the next day.
Brock could tell that his roster at Gustavus had the potential to compete at a high level in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
He was determined to turn the group into something great.
“I was a flashy guy from the East that talked too fast...They had no idea what was coming,” said Brock.
He led the program to two NCAA tournament appearances and an MIAC title in his three seasons at Gustavus.
Brock looks back on his years in St. Paul as some of his favorite in his coaching career. Working at high school basketball camps in the summer and with his roster of tough midwestern kids in the winter was what he loved to do.
He remembers the school’s gymnasium being packed for home matchups every season. The games served as a way for students and members of the community to get out of the cold and watch Brock’s hard-nosed kids go to work.
But most of all, the town loved basketball as much as he did.
“It’s one of my regrets that I didn’t stay a little bit longer at Gustavus,” said Brock. “I really enjoyed it.”
Things change when the hot, Southern Texas sun hits your skin for the first time.
Brock took his Gustavus team down to Trinity for a non-conference game in one of his final seasons at the college. While there, he was struck by the campus’ beauty. The weather was also a little bit better than what was normal in Minnesota.
“It was a much better place to live,” said Brock. “I got kind of enticed by the climate.”
The following season, Trinity was in need of a new head coach. Brock interviewed for the position and was offered the job.
At the time, Trinity had recently moved into Div. III from Div. II. They wanted a coach that could find them success.
Brock got the program on the right path, but it took some time.
His first season at the college in 1989 still stands as one of the toughest in his coaching career. The team went 7-18 on the season.
In the next three years, his teams steadily got better and better.
Brock prides himself on being efficient. Although he found success during the second half of his stint at Trinity, he doesn’t make any excuses about the program’s missteps during his first few years at the school.
“Quite frankly, Trinity took too long,” said Brock. “It should take three or four years (to see improvement) and it took me probably five.”
On top of it taking a while to turn things around, the attitude towards basketball by fans and administration at Trinity was different than the one held at Gustavus.
Trinity is in Southern Texas where football is king and basketball is seen as a secondary sport. The crowds that came to the games in San Antonio weren’t like the ones that would fill the gym at Gustavus in St. Paul. The excitement around the team wasn’t the same.
The situation was different, but he made it work.
He stayed at the school for nine seasons, his longest tenure at any school up to that point.
“Living in San Antonio was pretty enticing, so I wasn’t in a big hurry to leave.”
Brock was torn.
It was 1998 when he got the call from Bilik.
Now the Athletic Director at Springfield College, he wanted Brock as the next head coach of the Springfield men’s basketball team.
Brock was coming off his best season at Trinity and the weather in San Antonio was impeccable. It took a lot of thinking, but he eventually interviewed for the position and was awarded the job.
“It was coming home,” Brock said.
Returning to Alden Street gave him the opportunity to not only coach on the court, but teach in the classroom. At Gustavus, he remembers teaching physical education and enjoying it. It gave him the opportunity to talk to students not on the basketball team and make new connections.
With Springfield’s philosophy of educating the whole person, teaching in the classroom is always encouraged for coaches.
“One of the things I didn’t have at Trinity that I love to do is teach...Just getting to know other kids,” said Brock. “Being a member of the faculty and teaching (at Springfield) was a major attraction for me.”
Almost 40 years into his coaching career, Brock’s passion for the game has not wavered -- he’s just had to find different ways of expressing it on the sidelines the last few seasons.
Brock has had to deal with multitude of other ailments the last few years. He had a knee replacement in 2013 and went through an eight hour spinal surgery in 2016. After years of stomping his foot on the sideline, the action caused him to fracture a bone. He must now get an ankle replacement at the end of 2019.
He was relegated to wearing a medical boot and sitting more than he is used to at the beginning of the 2018-19 season as he rehabbed his foot. The pain was, and continues to be, difficult to deal with, but he’s never thought twice about toning things down.
“I’m having fun,” said Brock. “I just don’t do post moves (in practice) anymore.”
Brock sits down at the desk nestled in the corner of his office.
He is surrounded by memories and moments in his career. A photo of him on the sideline coaching next to Bilik as an assistant hangs on the wall to his right. A collage of photos from big games during Springfield’s national semifinal run hangs to his left. A file cabinet full of playbooks from his time at previous colleges sits under the collage.
With 40 years of coaching memories hanging on his walls, he is always reminded of the past whenever he enters his office. For him, the past is a fun place to visit, but not for too long. The present and the future is what’s most important.
Brock puts his foot on top of his desk to ease the chronic pain in his ankle. He’s thinking of the future. A future that will eventually no longer involve coaching.
He imagines that he’ll do a lot of gardening, which has become one of his favorite hobbies. But other than that, it’s all up in the air.
“I’m not sure what I’ll do,” said Brock. “I’ll do whatever anyone wants me to do...It will be whatever I want to do.”
Every October 15th for the last 40 years has been consistently booked for him. It has always marked the first day of practice. He imagines once he retires that the day will make him anxious every time it comes around.
“I’ll think that I must be doing something right now...There is something I should be doing,” said Brock. “I don’t think that’ll change.”
That’s the future. Sure, it’s important, but not as much as the present.
Four decades into coaching, Brock is still having fun.
“You’ve got to like what you’re doing and the people you’re doing it with,” he said. “I like the kids that we are dealing with -- always have. Springfield is a great place. I’ll finish out here and it’ll be just right.”
He pauses and takes a draw from his e-cigarette -- an homage to his rebellious past before he continues.
“I haven’t even thought about an end date. It’s how long I enjoy it and how long (the school) is willing to have me here -- and maybe not necessarily in that order.”
A sly, rebellious smirk shines out of the corner of his mouth.