When asked “What will you bring to the program?” … new Kokomo boys’ basketball coach, John Peckinpaugh, did nothesitate.
“I believe that at every stop in my coaching career, my teams have played with a toughness that has made them competitive,”Coach Peckinpaugh explained. “I am hoping to build this program from the ground up … with the help of the Kokomo community … to the greatness Kokomo basketball has historically enjoyed. Everyone knows the legacy associated with Kokomo basketball. Having played at Muncie Central, I know my way around the NCC, which is a great basketball conference. I will be taking an “all hands on deck” approach with the players and my staff, but that must include the Kokomo community. I need Kokomo’s help reviving this basketball program.”
John Peckinpaugh was approved as a Certified Teacher at Kokomo High School and as the Varsity Head Boys’ Basketball Coach by the Kokomo School Corporation Board of School Trustees during its regular monthly meeting (May 3rd).
Coach Peckinpaugh has served the past two seasons as thevarsity head boys’ basketball coach at Noblesville High School.
Kokomo High School Athletic Director Nick Sale is confident that Coach Peckinpaugh will bring leadership to the Kokomo boys’ basketball program.
“We’re very pleased to welcome John Peckinpaugh as our new Head Boys’ Basketball Coach at Kokomo High School,” Mr. Sale noted. “Coach Peckinpaugh’s experience within the NCC as a player and his coaching experience at the college and high school levels will serve our student athletes well. His focus on relationships and building our feeder system makes us very excited about the future of the Kokomo High School basketball program under his leadership.”
KHS Principal Angela Blessing believes Mr. Peckinpaugh will be an outstanding teacher, as well as a coach.
“Kokomo High School is very excited to welcome Coach Peckinpaugh to the teaching staff at KHS, and we believe he will make a positive impact within our special education department. Coach Peckinpaugh has a heart and a passion for working with students who have special needs,” Mrs. Blessing explained. “Coach Peckinpaugh’s passion was shaped, in part, by his background since his mother served as the Director of Special Education at Muncie Community Schools for 30 years, and the Peckinpaugh family embraces its siblings with special needs. Coach Peckinpaugh is a student centered-teacher, and that combined with his personal experiences, will help Kokomo High School continue providing an inclusive environment to all students. For many of those same reasons, I believe Coach Peckinpaugh will be an outstanding addition to our KHS coaching staff.”
After serving as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne for a year, Coach Peckinpaugh served as head coach for four seasons at the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne. After inheriting a team that finished 8th in the WHAC, Peckinpaugh’s teams posted two consecutive 20-win seasons while advancing to the NAIA National Tournament. The other statistic that was important to Coach Peckinpaugh was the fact that his basketball players improved the team GPA from 2.71 to 3.27 during his tenure.
“It is important that our program builds young men,” Coach Peckinpaugh explained. “First and foremost, I want our players to graduate, but with a GPA (Grade Point Average) that allows them to play at the next level at the college of their choosing. With quality young men, I believe our program can be successful by competing for an NCC championship each season and by beingcompetitive in our Sectional every March.
Another reason Coach Peckinpaugh found the Kokomo position intriguing is that his wife Haley is the varsity head girls’ basketball coach at Kokomo High School. The 2021-2022 season will be the first time in KHS history that the two Wildkat varsity basketball teams are coached by a husband/wife duo.
“This is a good position for our family since we already hadchosen to live in Kokomo,” Coach Peckinpaugh noted. “With the help of the Kokomo community, I believe we can again create a feeder system where our elementary and middle school players know, and understand, the legacy of Kokomo basketball. A successful feeder system must be the foundation of rebuilding the traditions and success of the Kokomo basketball programs.”
Coach Peckinpaugh wanted Assistant Superintendent Dr. (Mike) Sargent, Athletic Director Nick Sale, and KHS Principal Angela Blessing to know that he is grateful for this outstanding opportunity at Kokomo.
“I will work hard to revive this program, but I cannot do so without the help of the Kokomo community,” Coach Peckinpaugh concluded.