The Lebanon Greyhounds have a new boys basketball coach this season, but Doug Schieppe needs no introduction to the local basketball scene.
Schieppe and older brother Stephen Schieppe were star players at Lebanon High School and later were standouts in college. Their father, John Schieppe, also served previously as the Greyhounds' basketball and baseball coach.
"We're trying to get that excitement back, that love for the program," said Doug Schieppe, who coached the Lebanon girls basketball team to a 36-17 record the past two seasons with two Cahokia Conference-Kaskaskia Division championships and a regional title. "It's just the pride factor, my wife and I both graduated from high school here. I want to get back to coaching boys basketball and give back to the community."
There's another link to Lebanon's basketball past with new assistant coach Brian Loehring, the son of former Lebanon basketball coach Wayne Loehring.
Doug Schieppe and Brian Loehring were high school teammates at Lebanon and are close enough friends to have been in each other's weddings.
Schieppe, 40, is in his fifth year as a biology and science teacher at Lebanon.
After a strong playing career at Lebanon, Schieppe played for Tennessee-Martin and Southwestern Illinois College before finishing up with two years at Marshall under current Florida coach Billy Donovan.
"We won the conference there my senior year," Schieppe said. "We went from last to first when Billy Donovan took over when I was a senior. I learned a lot from (SWIC) Coach (Jay) Harrington and from Billy, we use some of the same systems.
"We're going to have to run this year, we're not very big. We're going to press and play good defense and really work on fundamentals."
Former Lebanon coach and current athletic director Chad Cruthis resigned his coaching position following last season. In 11 seasons as head coach, Cruthis' teams were 175-146 and played in six regional finals.
"My reason behind resigning the coaching position was simply the health of my son," Cruthis said. "During the season last year we ran into some issues with his kidney transplant that caused us to make quite a few trips to Cardinal Glennon Hospital for treatments.
"It was a hard decision to make because I had to put priorities first. I've always preached to my players for as long as I've been here that family comes first and we always treated the team like our family."
Cruthis feels Schieppe will be a good fit for the boys basketball program.
"With Doug having done our girls for the last two years, it seemed like it would be as smooth of a transition as we could make," Cruthis said. "He's going to do things differently as any coach does. The kids are in good hands, they'll transition over just fine."
One of the new traditions Schieppe has instituted is the Lebanon Basketball Tip-Off Banquet Nov. 16. The event is being held at the high school gym and will include a tribute to former Lebanon players, coaches and athletic directors.
The guest speaker is Southwestern Illinois College basketball coach Jay Harrington and Schieppe also will preview the Greyhounds' season.
Tickets are $20 each for adults and $10 for children 10-under with all proceeds going to the basketball program. The event will be catered by Schiappa's Restaurant. Call 537-4423 to purchase tickets.