April 19, 2012 in Division I
Olivet College recently announced that it has hired former Saginaw Valley State assistant Chris Coles as its new head coach. But it was another candidate on Olivet’s list of finalists that caught my eye. David Drew of MLive reported that Western Michigan and Grand Rapids South Christian great David Kool was considered for the job.
My immediate thought was, ‘it hasn’t been that long since Kool was playing, has it?’
It hasn’t — he was a senior at Western in 2010, to be exact. And with as productive as he was in college, I was pretty surprised that he wasn’t continuing his playing career professionally somewhere. It turns out, a crowded market in 2010 as well as Kool’s own hesitancy to move overseas impacted that. From Graham Couch of MLive:
“Just talked to my agent and he says the market is so slow and he has only signed five of his 50 players to deals so far, so he’s telling me to be patient. Once an offer comes, I am going to sit down and decide what I want to do.”
Kool isn’t sure he wants to leave his family for a basketball life in Europe (though, for a player of his caliber, it would be a pretty nice tax-free wage coming his way). He’s considering going into coaching and teaching immediately.
Later in 2010, Kool reportedly turned down an $80,000 offer to play in Mexico and instead accepted a position as a student-assistant on Western’s staff. He became a full-time assistant last season. According to Olivet’s search committee findings, Kool did quite a bit in a short period of time on the Western bench:
He has assisted with all aspects of the basketball program, including recruiting student-athletes, scouting opponents through film study, helping plan and run practices, coordinating camps, and working with booster clubs.
It probably shouldn’t be all that surprising that Kool has been a quick study as a coach, considering he was known for his high basketball IQ as a player. Kool is a natural leader and has always been respected by teammates and coaches alike. Here’s an example, via former Western Herald and current MLive sports writer Eric Woodyard:
“He’s one of the nicest guys that you’ll ever meet. He’s a good Christian guy so he’s not out doing stupid stuff. He’s a good leader,” said Ross MacGregor, Kool’s high school teammate. “I got a younger brother that’s 14 years old and he’s looking up to him and my brother will text him and he’ll text him right back saying good stuff to him. So he’s just a leader for kids our age and younger kids — he’s just a great role model.”
It’s not a shocker that Olivet ultimately went with a coach who is a little more experienced in Coles, but it bodes well for Kool’s future in coaching that he’s already well thought of enough to be a college head coaching candidate.