When Randy DeShone landed at Elkhart Central as boys basketball head coach earlier this week, it happened to occur less than one week after his former coaching job flew open.
So, was there any chance DeShone would chase his ex-job — the one he knew intimately and seemed to fit ideally, the one located where his son was already playing, the one that still had his imprint all over the feeder program — rather than continue to pursue the Blue Blazer position?
“Doing that was never on my mind,” DeShone said after accepting the Blazer post. “I interviewed at Central before (Ron Dietz stepped down at Jimtown), and my focus was on Central. I’m thrilled to be coaching at Elkhart Central.”
DeShone was head coach of the Jimtown Jimmies for 20 years. He’s had three children graduate from Jimtown schools, and that aforementioned son, Adam, just completed his sophomore year with the Jimmies. Adam is expected to join his father at Central.
Randy DeShone has always talked glowingly about Baugo Community Schools, its philosophies and all that the school system offers.
So returning to coaching there wouldn’t have been out of the question, and when he did leave his coaching position there in 2011, it was of his own accord.
DeShone, who had been a math teacher as well, stepped aside as basketball coach only because he became an assistant principal at the school. Jimtown policy dictates that administrators not be coaches.
“I’ve learned under a fantastic administrator,” DeShone said this week, referring to principal Jeff Ziegler, “and could not have asked for more from the people there, but I always have loved coaching and teaching.”
Besides coaching basketball at Central, he’ll also return to the classroom, teaching math.
And sometime during the coming season, though the official schedule is not out yet, he’ll coach against Jimtown — at Jimtown.
“That’ll be a very unique thing for me,” DeShone said. “I’ve known all those kids as they’ve grown up and have so much respect for the kids at Jimtown. Dylan Guldager (a Jimmie guard) is like a nephew to me. But we’ll go over there and compete, and they’ll compete.”
The irony is that by the end of next season, DeShone will have already faced Jimtown more times than he’s ever faced Central. That’s because the schools had not met since 1987-88 before agreeing to begin a regular-season series that started last winter.