Former Round Lake coach Jimmy Roberts has been named the new boys basketball coach at Jacobs, the school announced Wednesday.
"It's exciting," Roberts said. "Jacobs is a great school with great kids that has had success in a lot of sports. It's a growing area and people are passionate about supporting the school. It's an exciting place to be."
Roberts, 34, is no stranger to basketball games at the Algonquin school. As a senior point guard at Lake Zurich High School in 1995-96, he scored 35 points in a game at the old Eagles Nest to clinch the Fox Valley Conference title. A two-time all-conference pick, he was named FVC player of the year and all-state in 1996.
Roberts was a four-year letterman at NCAA Division II Northern Michigan University. A member of the GTE Academic all-American team in 1999-2000, he graduated with a degree in secondary education studies in 2001. He will teach social studies at Jacobs.
Roberts worked his way up the coaching ranks as an assistant at Leyden (2001-06), Lincoln Park (2006-08) and Barrington (2008-09). He spent one season as an assistant coach at Round Lake before taking his first head coaching position there in 2010-11. The Panthers finished 19-63 in his three seasons.
"I think we've had a lot of success at Round Lake, though it doesn't always show up in wins and losses," Roberts said. "I think we've been able to change the culture a bit. It's still a work in progress, but I think people respect what we do and what we're about now.
"It's very tough to leave because of the relationships with co-workers but, mainly, because of the relationships with the kids. I had a little different role. Some of our kids come from single-parent homes, so coaches take on some bigger roles with our kids. Telling a few of the guys I was leaving was tough on them. At the same time, I'm glad they're upset because they care and our relationship meant something to them. I told some of the guys who had graduated and they supported the move."
Roberts takes over for retired IHSBCA hall of famer Jim Hinkle, a 49-year coaching veteran who led Jacobs for the last 17 seasons. Hinkle's replacement outlined what Jacobs fans can expect.
"I like our teams to play very hard, play the right way and represent their school the right way," Roberts said. "I expect discipline on offense, knowing what we want to do, not just going out and playing. We'll do some different things defensively, but hopefully our discipline and preparation give us a chance to win every time we step on the floor."
Wednesday's announcement concludes a coaching search that began once the Class 4A state finals ended in March.
"I'm ecstatic just thinking about his passion for the game," Jacobs athletic director Dan Vosnos said of Roberts. "He's an extremely hard worker. We're happy to afford him the opportunity to lead our young men."