Joe Benoit did his best to soak in every day of coaching this season with the Jacobs girls basketball team, knowing it likely was his last.
Benoit, who had been head coach for six years and with the program for 11, took over as acting athletic director just after school started in August. He recently was named acting athletic director for next year, and with that relinquished his role of basketball coach.
Jonny Reibel, an English teacher and volunteer coach in the boys basketball program, will take over as girls basketball coach. Jacobs also recently named Cristy Felten, a biology teacher at the school, as its new dance coach.
“It was a challenging winter for me in terms of the balance of what went on (as AD and coach),” Benoit said. “But it was really one of my favorite years in all I’ve ever coached. I really appreciated and enjoyed every day with the kids, going to practices, going to games, the prep for it, the camaraderie with the coaching staff. The inexperience of this group made it fun because of how hard they worked and bought into everything.”
Benoit said the decision to leave basketball took a great deal of thought, including the players and families of those he coached, even as an assistant.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the last 11 years,” he said. “The kids I was able to coach and the experiences I had are times I’ll never forget. That will only help me as I continue on in a different role. Coaching was the greatest experience of my life.”
Reibel averaged 14.9 points and 5.8 assists for Hoffman Estates’ 30-2 Class AA state quarterfinal team in 2004. He played at NCAA Division II Rollins College (Florida) and is in that school’s Hall of Fame after taking over as a starter in his freshman season.
Reibel tried out for the NBA’s Miami Heat and finished his career by playing two years professionally in Poland and Germany. Since 2010, Reibel has worked as a player development trainer at Evolution Athletics in Buffalo Grove, where he worked on individual and group training with basketball players.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity (principal) Barb Valley and Mr. Joe Benoit have given me,” Reibel said. “I am incredibly proud and tremendously honored to represent Jacobs High School not only as a teacher but also now as a head coach. Mr. Benoit has created an outstanding program over the past years. We want to continue to build upon the success of this program as of Jacobs as a whole.”