Girls Basketball: Joe Benoit named Jacobs head coach
By Brandon Mangia For Sun-Times Media July 17, 2012 7:24PM
Updated: November 30, 2012 10:23AM
A familiar face will be taking over the reins of the Jacobs varsity girls basketball program.
Joe Benoit, who served last season as the sophomore coach, has been named varsity coach. The announcement ends a more than three-month coaching search following the firing of Keith Chuipek in early April.
Benoit, a 2002 St. Edward graduate, took over the feeder program during the spring and has been with the program since the 2007-08 season when he was hired by former Jacobs coach and current Hampshire coach Ed Haugens to lead the sophomore team. Since his arrival at Jacobs, Benoit, 29, has shifted from sophomore to assistant varsity coach.
“Based on my familiarity with the girls and especially working with the feeder program, I think the transition will be pretty seamless,” said Benoit, who is a health and physical education teacher at Dundee Middle School. “We’ve got great community support and I couldn’t ask for a nicer, hard-working and coachable group of girls.”
As the sophomore coach and varsity assistant during the 2009-10 season, Benoit witnessed first-hand one of the program’s most successful seasons when the Golden Eagles finished 26-7 and won their first-ever Fox Valley Valley title. However, Jacobs slipped to a combined 10-44 record over the past two seasons.
“It’ll be a work in progress, but I think it helped being around when we had great success with the program,” Benoit said. “I think the program is primed and ready to get back to where that was. I know the girls are excited to take the next step and get back to competing at the top of the Fox Valley Conference year in and year out and move in a very positive direction.”
Taking over a team that will likely be at a height disadvantage throughout the year, Benoit is keen on revving up the pressure on the defensive end of the floor.
“To me, it’s always based on the personnel and the players we have in our program as to what exactly we’ll run,” he said. “Based on what we have coming back next year, we don’t have a whole lot of height, which plays into a style I like — which is going to be putting a lot of pressure on teams on the defensive end — allowing that to create offense for us.”
Among the returners this year with valuable varsity experience include Tori Tamburrino, Payton Berg, Jackie Bartolai and Jenni Barnec.
“It’ll be a young group and overall there’s not a ton of experience but I really think the girls are excited,” Benoit said. “I hope we can create a team and program the community will be proud to support based on how hard they hustle and how hard they play.”