Baranek: GSU the right move for former JCA coach Schodrof
By Tony Baranek email@example.com May 25, 2014 7:48PM
Joliet Catholic head coach Ed Schodrof during the game against Marist at Marist, Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014, in Chicago| Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 27, 2014 6:33AM
To say that Ed Schodrof is a content guy as he leaves Joliet Catholic after six years as the head girls basketball coach would not be an overstatement.
Truly, he’s content in all aspects.
For one thing, he leaves having successfully rebuilt a program at Joliet Catholic that was in a pretty shabby place when he took over in 2008.
A dismal 2-25 the previous campaign, year by year he gradually improved the Angels. They were 24-5 in 2012-13, and last season made it to state for the first time since 1985 and finished a program-best second in Class 3A.
In six years, Schodrof compiled a 94-74 record with two regional, one sectional and one supersectional title.
He’s also content and excited to not only have his first college coaching experience at Governor’s State University, but he gets to do it as an assistant to a good friend, Toshia Burrell.
He sounded the most content when revealing Friday that one of his top picks likely will be replacing him.
Girls athletic coordinator Tina Kinsella confirmed Saturday that Schodrof assistant and former NBA player Kenny Battle has been offered the job and a contract is in the works.
“So the team will remain intact,” Schodrof said. “Kenny will take over, along with (other assistants) Kurt Weigt and Jeff Walker.
“They should have a very nice team next year. That means a lot to me. I’m happy that it (success) will continue beyond me.”
It should, anyway. Joliet Catholic returns a lot of talent from last season’s 28-3 team, including starters Nicole Ekhomu, Ty Battle and Jnaya Walker and experienced players Kennedy Weigt, Andriana Acosta, Mia Farrell and Kaitlyn Williams.
Schodrof, meanwhile, will be in a much different situation at Governor’s State.
“Starting a new program, we’re just getting started,” he said. “I mean, we’re literally just getting off the ground. It’s going to be an interesting process.
“Being this late in the year, where will the kids come from I guess is the question. We’re going to play it like a JV schedule the first year. It’ll be 2015-16 when it’s going to get real. This is an entire year for building. You’ll see me in a lot of gyms.”
Schodrof, who lives in Mokena and teaches at Rich South, said that his move from Joliet Catholic to Governor’s State began to accelerate on May 14, when Burrell was hired as the head coach.
“She called me that day,” he said. “We coached together for the Bolingbrook Panthers (club team) two or three years back. She’s done some college coaching (as well). I thought about the pros and cons, and there were way many more pros than cons.
“For one thing, I’m back home. It’s probably less than 10 minutes from Rich South. First and foremost, I get to be a college coach, and the new program factor is a big deal, too.”
Sounds like it was an easy decision.
“I wouldn’t say it was a no-brainer,” Schodrof said. “Any time you give six years of your life to something that we built from the ground, of course you are emotionally and spiritually tied to the whole thing.
“It’s clear to me, though, that I made the right decision. GSU is serious about making things work, with new programs and all of the money they’re putting into the dorms and things of that nature. It’s an exciting time to be a part of it.”