Baldwin native optimistic as basketball coach at Jackson College
BALDWIN -- Baldwin native Josh Kutchinski is getting ready to handle the challenges of his second year as men's basketball coach at Jackson College.
The team was 10-19 last season and 7-11 in the conference.
"It was good," Kutchinski said. "I got the job late. We didn't have a great year. I'm getting to recruit. When I got the job, school had started and you have to go with what you had. It was OK. We had a decent year. I had to get rid of a lot of guys after the season. I did a lot of recruiting to start getting some real talent in."
But Kutchinski admitted the ongoing coronavirus issue, which has forced colleges to close campuses, has had some type of impact.
"It's hurt a lot," Kutchinski said. "Jackson College's campus is beautiful. It's one of the only D2 junior colleges in the country with dorms. It's too bad you can't bring a kid and his parents on to be able to see that. Everything is right there. The dorms are literally down the sidewalk.
"It's hurt a lot not being able to be out and bring kids on campus and their parents. But we're fighting through it. I've signed seven kids, some really good kids, and brought five back. One of them is 6-9 Jeremy Leonard, from Texas. I believe he's going to be an All-American.
" He was all-conference and all-defensive team and led the nation in blocked shots. He was in the top 10 in rebounding. I think we've got a really good group coming back and good pieces put into place."
Summer camps and programs were canceled.
"We're hoping Aug. 1 we can come in, that's what my AD told me," he said. "So I'm hoping to run a minicamp for two weeks. We will go two-a-days and try to make up time."
Kutchinski spent eight seasons at Mesa Community College (Ariz.) in different stints.
He was an assistant coach at Lake Superior State University for the 2016-17 season under Head Coach Steve Hettinga. In 2017-2018, Kutchinski was Head JV Coach/Assistant Coach at Muskegon High School under Keith Guy.