After coaching the Jeffersonville girls’ basketball team to its first-ever 4-A state championship last March, Chad Gilbert is looking forward to more title runs.
Only now he will chase titles as head coach of the Red Devils boys’ team.
On July 1 the Greater Clark County School Board named Gilbert as the 21st head coach of the storied program.
Gilbert replaces Tim LaGrange, who resigned after taking an assistant principal position at Charlestown Middle School.
In his 11 years leading the girls’ program, Gilbert’s teams went 220-43, the best record of any Indiana girls program in that span.
Winners of seven Hoosier Hills Conference titles, his teams also made four Elite Eight appearances and cut down the nets as state champs last season.
Additionally, the Red Devils were ranked in the state’s top-10 in each of his 11 seasons and Gilbert was named Hoosier Hills Conference Coach of the Year seven times.
“We are extremely happy to have someone with the talent of Chad Gilbert ready to step in and lead,” said Jeff principal James Sexton in a statement released by the school. Sexton was the longtime principal at Jefferson County’s Eastern High in Middletown.
“Coach Gilbert is from Clark County and he will have the desire and pride to instill championship ambition in the very able Jeffersonville athletes,” said Sexton.
Gilbert, a 1991 Charlestown graduate, was all-state his senior year and scored 1,342 career points.
At the University of Southern Indiana, he led the Screaming Eagles to the 1995 Division-II national title, hitting a last-second shot to win the championship game.
He scored 1,011 career points and was named a 1st Team All-American in 1996, his final season.
Gilbert is looking forward to taking over the powerhouse program that has won 16 regional titles and the 1993 state championship.
“What excites me more than any one person is the program itself with its rich tradition and history,” said Gilbert. “We want to put a team on the court that fans are going to want to see.”
Gilbert will inherit three starters from last season’s 13-8 team.
“We’re going to evaluate what we have and that’ll determine how we play,” Gilbert said. “We’ll put kids on the court who are going to have a lot of pride and are going to make the school and the community proud.”
Track and Field
Last Wednesday Tretez Kinnaird, a junior-to-be at Butler High School, placed fourth in his heat and advanced to the semifinals of the 800-meter run at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Youth Championships in Lille, France.
His time of 1:52.81 was 18th fastest overall in the field of 54.
In his semifinal heat on Thursday Kinnaird placed fifth with a time of 1:50.64 but failed to qualify for the final. Only the top two finishers in semifinal heats plus the two fastest times advanced to the final field of eight.
Leonard Kirwa Kosencha of Kenya won the final on Saturday, setting a new World Youth record of 1:44.08.
Team USA claimed its 7th straight WYC title, besting runners-up Kenya in both medals (16 to 14) and total points (159 to 107).
The River City Rovers close out their home schedule this Saturday with a 2 p.m. tilt against the Cincinnati Kings.
The match will be held at the Centurion Soccer Field (Christian Academy) at 700 S. English Station Road.
The Rovers, an amateur club made up of current college players and aspiring pros, are 1-7-5 in the Premier Development League’s Great Lakes Division.
While wins have been hard to come by in their inaugural season, Executive Director Peter Laventis said the club is accomplishing its objectives.
“It looks like we’ve got a couple of local players that will go pro and that’s the goal – to give these guys a showcase where they can be looked at seriously for professional careers,” he said.
The team features several area high school products including: Ryan Smith (St. X, Louisville), Jacob Kemper (Oldham County, Kentucky), Alex Winrich (Trinity, Dayton), Kyle Richard (St. Xavier, Notre Dame) and Jarrett Robbins (Male, Evansville).
Former Trinity high school standout Pat Durbin has agreed to a two-year contract extension with Team Lakkapaa of Finland. Last season Durbin led the club to a Finnish Cup title and League Championship.
Contact columnist Chris Cahill at email@example.com