Jennifer Guth learned from some of the finest coaches in the Mid-Suburban League.
Now Elk Grove's girls get to learn from Guth.
She has been named the school's new girls basketball coach after serving as an assistant for one year in the program and six at Barrington.
"I am so grateful for the opportunity that Elk Grove has given me to lead its girls basketball program," said Guth, a former all-area forward at Buffalo Grove. "It's just a huge dream come true."
At Buffalo Grove, Guth was captain as a senior and junior for Hall of Fame coach Tom Dineen.
After graduating from Illinois, she served one year as a coach for the Barrington freshman team, then five as an assistant on the varsity which is directed by the dean of MSL coaches, Babbi Barreiro.
"Working with Babbi and the Barrington program was such a positive experience for me," Guth said. "It made me want to be head of a program that student-athletes love to be a part of."
Guth gets her chance starting this winter when she takes a Grens team that was 9-19 and 2-8 in the MSL East. There were nine underclassmen on the varsity, including all-area Amber Lindfors, a 6-foot-4 center who will be a senior next season.
"My goals for the Elk Grove basketball program are to continue to foster the development of our student-athletes and to be competitive in the MSL each year," Guth said.
Guth knows all about the competitiveness of the MSL.
At Buffalo Grove, she was also captain of the volleyball team as a senior and an all-area selection in both volleyball and basketball that school year.
"Being a student-athlete myself at Buffalo Grove and part of Tom Dineen's program really taught me discipline," said Guth, whose sister Allison starred on Dineen's Class AA 2000 state championship team.
"The program from top to bottom was such a well-oiled machine. I really learned a lot about team unity and I felt like I became a smarter basketball player and a constant student of the game."
Guth was a student-teacher in Barrington District 220 and then taught physical education in District 23 in Mount Prospect (elementary grades) for five years.
"But I always wanted to teach high school," she said.
That became a reality when Guth filled a physical education/health opening at Elk Grove this school year. She also coached the school's sophomore girls' volleyball and basketball teams.
Guth doesn't have to go far to talk the x's and o's of basketball.
"I have such a basketball family," she said. "My brother-in-law (Al Lainio) was the head boys basketball coach at Walther Lutheran for three years and my sister Allison has been successful at the college level, now an assistant at Northwestern University."
Jennifer always wanted her chance to teach and coach.
"Working with students and athletes has been my passion and brings so many new positive challenges and opportunities each day," she said. "It really keeps me on my toes."
Barreiro, who coincidentally played basketball in the Elk Grove program, kept Guth on her toes.
"Babbi was really my mentor and taught me so much about teaching lifelong lessons through the sport of basketball," Guth said. "She has built an amazing program that is successful on the court and helps build character in the student-athletes off the court as well."
Guth said Barreiro challenged her and helped her grow as a coach and educator.
"I will forever be grateful for my years working at Barrington High School," she added. "Tom (Dineen) and Babbi have programs that are so well respected. I was lucky enough to be a part of both, and those experiences really helped mold me into the type of person and coach I am today."
Now a head coach in the MSL.
"The MSL is an amazing conference," Guth said. "It has such a great competitive tradition. We want to improve with each new year and compete at the high level that the conference brings."