Girls basketball: Burlington Central names Kalamatas new coach
Burlington Central has selected Collin Kalamatas as its new girls basketball coach.
Kalamatas comes to Central from Woodstock where he coached one season.
He graduated from Huntley High School in 2005 and Northern Illinois University in 2010. Kalamatas was a member of the 2005 All-Area basketball team and played two years at McHenry County College before finishing his college degree at NIU.
Next year's Rockets will return all five starters from this year's 22-8 team.
"It's a rare opportunity that a program that's in as good of shape as Central's program is that a job like that opens up," Kalamatas said. "It was a job I admired and had an opportunity to apply for and was lucky to have it."
Kalamatas was hired in District 158 out of college and coached in both Huntley's boys and girls programs starting in 2010-11 until he took the Woodstock job last year.
He said that's where he learned much of the coaching philosophy he'll try to instill with the Rockets. Kalamatas met with his new players Tuesday.
"I learned a lot of the fundamentals of defense early on, pressure in the passing lanes, took that into being more of a defensive-minded coach and getting our girls to play really hard on that end of the floor," Kalamatas said. "Create opportunities through turnovers and missed shots and try to get out and run. This Burlington team has the tools to really be able to push the ball. We're going to try to play up-tempo and get some buckets early in the offense and if not set up in motion offense. We'll do some things four out and one in and we'll also have some five out looks as well."
The Rockets will be moving to the Fox Valley Conference next year which is something Kalamatas understands well. During his junior season in high school, Huntley made the transition from the Big Northern to the Fox Valley.
"I told them (his players) I can relate to them in that respect as an athlete and that transition," Kalamatas said. "However, Burlington is in such a better place than Huntley was back in 2002, 2003 -- facilities-wise, the type of athletes at Central. That step probably won't be as troubling for Central as it was for Huntley back in the early 2000s. That doesn't make anything easier for us. It's an incredible basketball conference on the girls and boys side. There's a lot of good basketball in the Fox Valley and we're going to jump in at an exciting time. We've got some talent to contend but we're going to be pushed every night. We're looking forward to the competition."
Kalamatas and his wife Jen live in Lake in the Hills. They have a 3-year-old son Calvin and are expecting their second child in June.
Kalamatas replaces Mark Smith who announced after the Rockets' season-ending loss to Glenbard South in the Class 3A Plano regional championship game that he is retiring and moving to California.