Smithpeters named new JALC men's basketball coach
CARTERVILLE – Harrisburg native Kyle Smithpeters became only the seventh head coach for men’s basketball in the 45-year history of John A. Logan College Tuesday.
The 29-year-old Smithpeters replaces the recently retired Mark Imhoff, who coached the Volunteers the last 17 seasons. Those who coached prior to Imhoff include: Tom Ashman, Bob Brown, Ron Gregory, John Sala and Jerry Bechtel. Imhoff is the winningest coach in school history with a record of 337-200.
Smithpeters said he is honored to take over the head coaching reins at Logan.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for me. John A. Logan College is a very special place,” he said. “It’s a place I truly enjoyed working in the four years I was here with Coach Imhoff. I can’t wait to get started. It’s exciting.”
Smithpeters said the one year of experience he gained at the Division I level at Missouri State University under head coach Paul Lusk, in addition to the previous five years as a JUCO assistant, helped immensely.
“Absolutely,” he said. “To accomplish what we did there last year, finishing third in the Missouri Valley Conference…I think that says a lot about the work we did. And I would be happy to have stayed, if not for this wonderful opportunity here at Logan.”
Smithpeters said he spoke with several people he trusts in the coaching profession in making his decision to apply for the Logan job.
“I came to the conclusion that a lot of guys never get the chance to be a head coach, and to become one at my age…back here close to home on top of everything else… I just couldn’t pass it up.”
Smithpeters complimented incumbent assistant coach, Zach Carpenter, for a job well done on his own.
“Zach has done a great job of recruiting and keeping things afloat since Mark retired and that’s not easy to do by yourself,” he said. “Now, we can work together to try and find some quality recruits before the summer’s over.”
JALC Athletic Director Jerry Halstead was ecstatic to have Smithpeters back in the fold.
Halstead said Smithpeters proved in his four years at Logan that he is an “outstanding recruiter” and has a personality that relates well with the student-athletes.
“I think that’s pretty evident and we expect that same kind of production from him now that he is moving over 17 inches to the head coaching seat,” Halstead said.
“We know that Kyle will do things the right way and that his players will, too. Coach Imhoff and I both believe that Kyle will be a tremendous steward of this basketball program and will carry on the rich tradition of winning basketball here at the college. He’ll work hard because it’s in his blood.”
Halstead also praised Carpenter for his work this summer.
“Zach showed us how much he thinks of Logan. He has been an unsung hero the last month and a half – no doubt about that. I think that he and Kyle make for one dynamic duo. They both have aspirations of making John A. Logan College one of the top basketball programs in the country.”
New JALC President, Dr. Michael Dreith, described the Smithpeters hire as “a wonderful selection,” and said his familiarity with the program increases his chance for success.
“I like the family history. Kyle’s Southern Illinois through and through – from his playing days at Harrisburg and SIU to coaching at Southeastern and here. I look forward to him guiding our basketball program. He seems like the perfect fit.”
Smithpeters graduated Harrisburg High School in 2001, where he competed in multiple sports. He went on to play four years of college basketball, the first three, which included a redshirt year, at Southeastern Illinois under Todd Franklin, and the last two for Chris Lowery at Southern Illinois University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2006.
Smithpeters proceeded to coach one year at Southeastern Illinois with Franklin and the Falcons went 25-6. He moved to John A. Logan College at the start of the 2007-2008 school year and served as an assistant to Imhoff for four seasons. The Vols went 81-42 during that span of seasons.
Smithpeters then accepted a position last year as an assistant to new head coach Paul Lusk at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo.
Kyle is the son of Randy and Patricia Smithpeters. Randy is a longtime head basketball coach at Harrisburg High School.
Kyle married the former Carrie McLeod of Harrisburg. She taught Special Education for seven years at Harrisburg Middle School. The couple has an 8-month-old son, Tobey.
From: JALC media relations
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