Senior staff writer
Lutheran and Manual high schools have new basketball coaches in Bob Jacobs and Donnie Bowling, respectively.
Jacobs, who takes over for longtime mentor Tom Finchum, has been coaching since an injury precluded him from playing his senior year at Concordia Lutheran in Fort Wayne. That’s when he began to assist his father with coaching the middle school boys and girls teams.
After graduating from Indiana University he accepted a position at Bloomington North High School, where he taught and coached the boys freshman team and was an assistant varsity coach.
He later coached in the Westfield School District before joining the faculty at Lutheran High and Calvary Lutheran Middle School in 2010.
Jacobs, a social studies teacher at Calvary, said his philosophy in coaching is to work to develop not just a basketball player but the whole person. “I appreciate the opportunity I have to pray with my players and to be a key influence in their lives as they transition from boys to young Christian men who will go on to influence their communities.”
Lutheran is the only Class A school to compete in the Crossroads Conference. By playing tougher competition within the league, the team is well prepared for the state tournament, he said.
Off the court and out of the classroom, Jacobs enjoys time with his family. He and his wife, Stacy, have been married 21 years. They have four children, Ashley, a senior at Ball State; Abby, a senior at Lutheran; Alaina, a junior at Lutheran; and Daniel, a sixth-grader at Calvary.
Bowling replaces second-generation coach Ryan Baumgartner, who went 20-48 over three seasons for the Redskins.
Bowling was 39-26 as the boys basketball coach at Shortridge during the last three seasons. He previously was an assistant coach at Broad Ripple for five years.
When interviewed for the Manual position, he explained his historic connection to the Southside high school and its basketball program.
Bowling was a sophomore member of the 1991 state champion Kokomo Wildcats, who defeated Manual and the VanArsdale twins (Tom and Dick) 68-66 in overtime at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse.
“I had knowledge of the proud tradition of basketball at Manual,” Bowling said. “I want today’s players to understand and know the legacy of Manual basketball too. I am preaching to these kids about that legacy because I want them to add to that legacy.”
Bowling showed video of the championship game, which featured the VanArsdales scoring 42 points for Manual coach Richard Cummings.
After graduating from Kokomo in 1993, Bowling played collegiate basketball at Chaminade in Hawaii. He is a graduate of Marian University.