According to Jacobs boys basketball coach Jim Hinkle, there are two things in the world that are never ugly.
“Babies and wins,” something the coach will never refute.
And according to Jim, after the last day of school in June, you’ll find him poolside.
“Not at basketball camp,” Hinkle says, smiling.
Hinkle, 71, will retire from coaching after this season, his 50th as a basketball coach. He’s won 539 games (136-87 in 17 years at Jacobs) and five conference titles. He was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012.
And although he admits he’ll miss coaching, according to Jim, “What you don’t have, you don’t miss.”
His wit and charm has been so valuable over the years, to salute his retirement, here’s a look back at the nights we’ve had with him over the last 18 years, in the life according to Jim.
When Jacobs grad and University of Northern Iowa standout John Moran got a touch of mono in February 2008 — “Maybe he kissed his sister instead of his girlfriend. Heck I don’t know.” (Moran is the youngest of 4 boys).
“Hink’s” response to reserve Darius Bowers’ wish to shoot more 3-pointers after making his only attempt in January of 2007 –—“I said Darius, you’re either going to end the year at 100 percent shooting or 50 percent, buddy, because if you shoot one more you ain’t playing.”
Calling Doctor Hink: Prescription for Sean Meyer, who missed two games with a concussion in January of 2010 — “We put him in a little dark room where we keep the balls and asked him to stay in there and hope that helps out.”
Hinkle teases Moran again in February of 2007 on not beating Dundee-Crown since 2003 — “Believe me, I’ve been reminding him of that fact. I’ll walk by him and say, ‘Hey, John, have you ever beaten Dundee-Crown before? No? Boy, we used to beat them like a drum until you got here.’ ”
Bon voyage: January 18, 2001, on former Jacobs and California grad Eric Vierneisel’s call up to varsity after a summer league game in 2000, when he nailed a 3, stole the inbounds pass and dunked it — “At the end of the game, I went up to (sophomore coach) Reed (Nosbich) and said, ‘Tell Eric goodbye.’ ”
Dealing with Vierneisel’s recruitment in March 2003 — “I have college coaches call me Monday to find out how he did Friday night and then the same coaches call back Wednesday and ask, ‘well how is he now?’ College coaches used to be more gentlemanly and now they’re barracudas. It’s like dealing with 20 used car salesmen a day.”
On the prospect of losing 5 straight in December 1998 — “The last time I lost five in a row I was on a riverboat. I don’t think I’ve ever lost five basketball games in a row. You know when you’re on a riverboat you can get up and go to another table. Friday night we move to our next table against Dundee-Crown. We’re going to get better. We gave an honest effort. I’ll tell you what, we won’t be the last team Lake Zurich beats.”
Hinkle got his revenge against Lake Zurich in 2003 on Vierneisel’s off-the-backboard alley-oop dunk from Mark Sommerville — “ Lake Zurich didn’t stand a chance after that.”
Tour guide for a second career? Not in Grayslake. January 2000 — “I think it was a bad idea to invite them into our conference because first, you have to go to the end of the world and turn left to get there and they beat our butts and send us home with no road map to get back.”
The very next day — “I have a new goal in life. Before I die, I’m going to beat Grayslake.”
Hink finally got Grayslake on his seventh try in January 2001 — “It was nice to drive to the end of the world, turn left, and finally get a victory.”
What about the rumored FVC expansion to Hononegah a week after beating Grayslake: “Another trip to the end of the world to a place I can’t spell.” At least Hink coined the best name for the new conference that never happened — The FoxRock.
Quincy? November ’05: “Last year Quincy gave us a lifetime contract to keep coming back. The boys thought that was great until I told them that meant my lifetime.”
Staying on his age, in December 2012 — “Our last game we scored 25 points. That keeps me young, like I feel 25 again.”
On his team’s defense in January of 1997 — “I told them a matador gets hit more often than us, and he’s trying to get out of the way.”
Prior to his 400th win in February 2005 — “400 wins. I’ll say, ‘Man, I joined a far more elite group than that a while back — coaches who have 400 losses. Try to find someone else with 400 losses. I bet you can’t find one. If you think you’re in an elite group with 400 wins, try finding someone else who has lost 400 and is still doing this. If they have, they won’t admit it.”
After his resignation last August — “I want it to be that way because I want the next coach to be successful. Heck, that way I can go to state with them in two years, sit in the stands and yell, ’Damn, we finally got rid of Hinkle and went somewhere.’”
Maybe Jacobs gets there, maybe not. But if you find Hinkle poolside soaking in the rays, he’ll likely be jabbering about ugly wins, babies or trips to Grayslake. And it’s a safe bet some new one-liners will be involved.
But for all the ones here, the ones not here, and the ones we’ll always remember, we say thanks, Jim. Enjoy retirement.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.