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Home » Boys' Basketball News

Irwin begins tenure at Huntington North

November 21, 2012
Huntington North High School



Irwin begins tenure at Huntington North

The Vikings play Homestead on Wednesday

By Justin Kenny of The News-Sentinel

After 17 years ofcoaching basketballat Whitko and Carroll, including the last seven balancing coach and athletic director duties, Rob Irwin felt it was time to step away from the sidelines.

“I just could not do both, it was just killing me,” Irwin said. “It was time to move on.”

Little did Irwin know that a job he had been eying for years was going to open again. When Huntington North decided to move on from Coach Aaron Cripe after just one year, a disastrous 5-19 campaign, the Vikings once again went in search for a coach to point them back in the right direction.

Enter Irwin.

“I am really excited to be with this team and see what we can accomplish,” said Irwin, who will coach his first game with the Vikings tonight at Class 4A No. 19 Homestead. “We have our top three returning scorers back and a fresh attitude.”

While at Whitko, many of Irwin’s players were multi-sport athletes who were not able to focus on basketball throughout the entire year. At Huntington North, he has kids that have dedicated themselves to one sport.

“At Whitko, I had players who played basketball,” Irwin said. “Here at Huntington, I have basketball players.”

That is not to knock what his Whitko teams did, including winning a sectional title in 2009. But there are many more opportunities at Huntington North.

“We play in a very tough conference in the NCC,” Irwin said. “But people don’t know just how tough our non-conference schedule is, when you look at Homestead, Columbia City, New Haven.”

Irwin will attempt to resurrect a program that has finished under-.500 five of the last six years. The lone over-.500 season was 2010-11 when the Vikings went 14-9, but then-coach Joe Bradburn did not return after that campaign.

Irwin wantto startanew.

“We want to get this program back to where it was (in the late 90s and early 2000s),” Irwin said.

Working towards that goal begins tonight against the Spartans.

nssports@news-sentinel.com


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