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Article updated: 12/7/2012 1:15 PM

Moving Picture: Coach looking forward to retirement

By John Starks

At the age of 70, Jim Hinkle plans to start a new life.

That start will come the first week of June 2013, after the last school day for the year. The longtime varsity boys basketball head coach will be at the swimming pool.

The veteran coach doesn't have complicated plans once this season wraps up. But one thing is certain, you won't find him with a whistle around his neck any longer.

"First day school is out, you can find me at the swimming pool," he smiles, "Not at basketball camp."

Hinkle has been coaching high school sports since his mid 20s. He spent a couple seasons as a baseball coach in Missouri before starting his dream job: in control of the boys basketball team. He was there for 20 seasons. In 1996, he moved to Illinois to be head coach for the Eagles varsity boys basketball team at H.D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin.

"I like both sports, but I love basketball," he says, "That really was my dream to be a head basketball coach."

Hinkle has spent the last 39 years in the gym, teaching high school boys how to play the game. He says the players keep him young. That is reflected in the motto for the team this year, which is printed on T-shirts for the players. It challenges them to score 70 points per game, one for each of his years.

"Our last game we scored 25 points," he laughs. "That keeps me young, like I feel 25 again."

Talking with other coaches, he explains the simple reason he has coached his whole life.

"It's fun," he says, "It continues to be fun and that's why I've stayed with it so long. I'm definitely going to miss it. There's no doubt, I'm going to miss it."

He tries to teach his players how to handle winning and losing.

"They are both experiences you cannot simulate," he explains. "You have to experience them. And I'm going to miss those highs and lows. I've had it so good for so long, I can handle the bumps in the road, and I want to help (the players) handle the bumps that will come in their roads," he says.

"I'm one of those lucky guys who got to realize his dreams," he says.

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