Jacobs athletic director Dan Vosnos envisioned himself as a player during the interview process for a new boys head basketball coach.
In doing that, one candidate stood out to Vosnos.
“I looked at the type of person he is,” Vosnos said. “I put myself in the kids’ shoes and thought, ‘Would this coach motivate me and push me to my limits?’ He was eager, a hard worker and prepared. He’s a man of high integrity.”
Vosnos’ choice was Jim Roberts, 34, who coached at Round Lake the past three seasons. Roberts was announced as the Golden Eagles’ new coach Wednesday. His employment as coach and social studies teacher can become official at the District 300 school board meeting on Monday, May 13.
“I like to think I’m organized,” said Roberts, a former star at Lake Zurich. “I have a plan, a vision. I have experience and have been involved with a number of different schools, worked with different kids and coaches and administrators. The environment I grew up in gave me experiences to be successful.”
Roberts will take over for Jim Hinkle, who retired after a 49-year coaching career. Lake Zurich was in the Fox Valley Conference when Roberts played; he was the 1996 Northwest Herald Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Roberts went on to play at NCAA Division II Northern Michigan and was named a GTE Academic All-American for the 2000 season.
Roberts will become the fifth coach in Jacobs’ 38-year history, following Ken Slimko, John Gypalo, Cliff Doll and Hinkle.
Roberts is the son of former Buffalo Grove football and basketball coach Rich Roberts, who had a profound effect on his son’s career path.
“When I was very young, he was basketball coach,” Jim said. “In fifth grade, he broke my heart and gave up basketball for football. But by doing that it allowed him to coach my feeder teams and see me play.”
Roberts’ teams were 19-63 in his three seasons. The school won seven games combined in the seasons before he arrived.
“No offense to who was here before me, but Round Lake was not a very respected name in basketball circles,” Roberts said. “I think Round Lake has a little bit of respect now for how we play and conduct ourselves. Success here is not with the wins and losses the kids have.”
Roberts was proud of his players who stuck with him and also proud that some who he felt did not represent the program well left.
“Wins and losses aren’t everything,” Vosnos said. “He moved the program ahead and was good at teaching life lessons. He prepared his teams well and maximized the talent he had. We feel he’s the right coach for our program at this time.”
Roberts previously worked at Leyden, Lincoln Park and Barrington as an assistant coach and teacher.