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Post: Blog2_Post
  • Val T.

New Argos coach Kindig a product of famous elders

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Nick Kindig’s high school basketball coach at Tippecanoe Valley was Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Patrick.

His college coach at Bethel University was NAIA Hall of Famer Mike Lightfoot.

He worked the last two years for a state championship coach in Jason Groves at Triton.

And his father Chris is the all-time winningest girls basketball coach at Valley.

Kindig himself has head coaching experience in boys tennis and boys golf at Valley and girls golf at Triton.

All these experiences and mentors led him to the Argos School Board meeting on June 17, when he was hired as the school’s new boys basketball coach.

He replaced Jason Breden, who left to take the Knox boys coaching job.

“That was always my goal was to be a head coach,” Kindig said. “From I guess when you start thinking about your playing career coming to an end in college, you start thinking about what you want to do next. I was around a lot of really good coaches. Both coach Patricks (Bill and his son Chad, who assisted his father for 19 years and was the Valley head coach from 2017-22) and then coach Lightfoot at Bethel, I just wanted to incorporate what I learned from them into coaching. And I thought that would be a great thing to do. And Argos being in the area, we played them when I was growing up. Even my first couple years at Valley, we played them, and obviously, we played them at Triton. They beat us my fair share of times. They’ve had some success in the past. They’ve had teams. They’ve won some sectionals. So that would be a great place to get my coaching career and give it a go.”

Kindig played against Argos during his playing days, and Argos was one of Triton’s biggest rivals.

“I’ve heard nothing but good things about the community,” Kindig said. “Principal (Nick Medich) is great. Superintendent (Ned Speicher) has been great. The athletic director (Damon Binkley) getting into his role has been awesome helping me get guys into basketball. So there’s been a lot of people that are willing to help and getting me acclimated to the area.”

Kindig said he started as an elementary education major at Bethel but found he was not “creative” enough to be an elementary school teacher. So he switched his major to sport management, but he said he “knew” he would “always” head back into teaching.

That might have to do with the other mentor – his mother Sharon.

“My mom was a teacher growing up, so I always had that idea in the back of my mind that I would eventually teach,” Kindig said. “I think I was kind of stubborn about it.”

His first two years after he was finished as a player, he was operating on a temporary teaching license at Valley while getting his certification to teach business from Bethel.

He said he will teach business at Argos, teaching sixth through 12th grades.

But right now, the emphasis is basketball.

With June often being an important month for offseason practice and conditioning, Kindig held an open gym the day after he was hired. He had another open gym two days later. This was a chance to meet his new players, many of whom had been in limbo waiting for a new coach.

Four days after he was hired, he was coaching in a summer game at North Judson. Some scrimmages followed at Triton on Thursday.

“We’ve had good attendance, I would say, for the circumstances,” Kindig said. “Guys didn’t even know who I was Monday night, and Tuesday, they were there ready to practice. So overall, I’ve been pretty pleased … with a quick turnaround. They were itching to get after it because they weren’t doing anything. They had three weeks of summer break early. They were excited. They were ready to go. It’s good.”

Kindig has noticed from his coaching elders that the job of coach always morphs into something new.

“I think it’s changing all the time,” Kindig said. “Bill always told us how much different it was when he coached in the ‘80s and ‘90s compared to coaching now. Coach Groves told me, we had conversations about that, about how much different it was. You’ve got to be willing to change, adapt to different things. Even my dad in his 14 years talked about how much different it’s changed. It’s an always changing game. You’ve got to be willing to adapt or the game will kind of pass you by.”

Kindig spoke of the balance that a good coach must have. A coach might be an X’s-and-O’s wizard, but a coach’s smart sets will not matter unless the players’ skills have developed. And on top of that, a coach must be able to motivate.

“Some games, you show up, and there’s a big crowd or things like that, but maybe that Tuesday night road game, motivating your guys to give a little extra than what they think they can do,” Kindig said. “All three of those are, I think, in my opinion equally important.”

Kindig said each of his mentors had a special skill that he observed and can use now that he has his own team.

“With Bill, I think especially my first couple years of high school, he was more fundamentals, more like team drills where we’re doing team fundamentals,” Kindig said. “The first 45 minutes of practice was more breaking down team drills, that sort of thing. … With Groves, more X’s-and-O’s details and sets. Bringing a combination of those guys together, I think, is obviously going to help me in my coaching career.”

Kindig said he wants to improve the feeder system at Argos. He said just having summer camps at Argos where younger kids can meet the varsity players can be beneficial.

“It’s not where I want it to be,” Kindig said. “There’s a lot more that I want to do with them, I guess, than what they’ve done in the past. I guess I’ll say that.”

He also said that his players will have to spend more time in the weight room.

“That’s definitely a point of emphasis at Argos is they’re wanting to push that and get that more involved, and that’s something I want to definitely get involved,” Kindig said. “I talked about it with my dad tonight after I was playing. Physically, we’ve got a long way to go to catch up to some of the teams we’re going to play this year.”

Kindig said his father, who won four sectionals, a regional and a semistate title in 2015 as the Valley girls coach from 2010-24, will “eventually” join him on his coaching staff.

Bo Hines will remain as JV coach. He is a holdover from the Breden regime.

“I just think getting with my players as much as we can,” Kindig answered when asked what will be the priority for the rest of the summer. “Obviously, we can’t do anything next week because it’s Moratorium Week, but we are playing three and three-and-a-half week catch-up. We were able to get some things accomplished the last two weeks, but using some time in July when we’re able to get the guys in the gym.

“They want to be there. They want to play. It’s just they were cut short three weeks, so making up for that and just getting the players acclimated with me and what to expect … Practices are different during the summer, but just a basis of what we’re going to do, some principles offensively and defensively and get to know me. Building the relationships with them from day one is important and then going from there.”


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