Central hires longtime assistant Shubert to replace Eagleson

News-DemocratMay 20, 2013 

Jeremy Shubert, the longtime Central High basketball assistant who was named the school's new head coach on Monday, has quite a winning pedigree.

Shubert was on the floor as an Okawville High player when former Rockets coach and current Illinois State Senator Dave Luechtefeld got his 600th career win. Years later, Shubert was on the bench alongside former Central coach Stan Eagleson when he won his 600th game this season.

"Just to learn from those two guys is pretty special," said Shubert, 37, who spent the last 14 years as an assistant coach under Eagleson at Central and the last four as junior varsity coach. "Hopefully it's going to be a pretty smooth transition. I'm very excited to coach and work with the guys we have here.

"I'm thankful or the opportunity and I'm very comfortable working here and working with these kids."

Eagleson retired in March after a 548-252 record in 27 years with the Cougars. His career record counting time at Ramsey was 608-286 in 31 seasons.

Shubert was asked what the most important thing about coaching he learned from Eagleson.

"Just being a class act, gracious in defeat, gracious in winning," Shubert said. "We've had a lot of success in the last 10 years. What we've been able to do is quite impressive for this area and it's been a heck of a run. I think Dave Luechtefeld was a lot like that too. Very humble."

Since 2008, Central was 146-22 with a Class 2A state championship. Eagleson's teams also finished fourth at state during that dominant span with four sectional titles and five regional titles.

"Stan had such a good rapport with the kids, they all respected him," said Shubert, who recently helped with a reunion of Eagleson's former players that drew a huge crowd. "I hope to keep that transition up as well. Not only were they better basketball players for being in our program, but they were better people because of Stan."

Shubert hopes to make the transition even smoother by retaining most of the current coaching staff, including Dave Thomas, Kurt Peters and Donny Petterson.

Continuity was a big part of the decision to hire Shubert.

"I've always thought that was one of our strengths," Eagleson said of his former coaching staff. "They're a very good group, all of them bring something different to the table, but it's all good for the program."

Speculation targeted Shubert as the heir apparent to Eagleson for a long while.

"He has very good basketball knowledge and he's very good at watching the game and making adjustments during the course of the game," Eagleson said. "Jeremy relates very well to the kids, too. I think it's going to make it an easy transition with being on our coaching staff. These kids have grown up with him, coming to our camps and playing for us at various levels."

Central is coming off a 22-10 season that included an 8-2 mark in the Cahokia Conference's Mississippi Division. The Cougars won the regional, then beat Robinson 56-54 in the sectional semifinals before losing 58-53 to Teutopolis in double overtime in a wild sectional final.

Shubert played basketball at Okawville High and Millikin University and spent a brief time coaching at Girard in central Illinois. He was hired at Central in 1999 as a science teacher and was asked by Eagleson to join the coaching staff.

"It's going to be a challenge at times, but it is exciting," said Shubert, whose team will return one of the area's top point guards in Jacob Timmermann. "Sitting next to Stan for 14 years, you kind of wondered what you would have done in certain situations."

Now those decisions will be made by Shubert, who hopes to carry on the strong fundamentals and attention to detail that made the Cougars strong in recent years.

"When we start our summer sessions after Memorial Day, I think that's when it's really going to hit me," Shubert said.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or on Twitter @NormSanders

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