Henderson names Elgas new basketball coachHenderson State University Director of Athletics Shawn Jones has announced the hiring of Jimmy Elgas as the Reddies' men's head basketball coach.
Elgas become the 28th head coach of the Henderson State Reddie men's basketball program in its 105-year history.
"We are delighted to welcome Jimmy, Tamara, Kyla, James and Kambry to Henderson State and our Reddie Family," said Jones. "Jimmy is the perfect fit to lead Reddies basketball to excellence on and off the court."
"I am humbled and honored to be named the head coach at Henderson State University," said Elgas. "It is the perfect fit for me and my family. We are so excited to integrate ourselves and become an active part of the Henderson State campus and the Arkadelphia community."
Elgas has an impressive resume which includes stops at numerous successful NCAA Division I programs.
Since 2007, Elgas has served as the top assistant coach at the University of Evansville under Head Coach Marty Simmons.
While at Evansville, the Aces have made five post-season appearances including four of the last five seasons. The Aces have recorded 20-plus winning seasons two of the last three years including a 23-12 record this season while advancing to the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament to be played Thursday. The 23 wins are the most since 1998-99 when Evansville finished with a 23-10 record.
The Evansville men's basketball program has graduated an impressive 78 consecutive student-athletes including 20 during Elgas' tenure.
"When talking to numerous people about Coach Elgas, they all commented on his incredible integrity and character, his tireless work ethic, his knowledge of the game, his tremendous loyalty and how he brings the same positive energy and enthusiasm to work every day. That's exactly the kind of person I want as a mentor for our student-athletes here at Henderson State. Once we spent time with him and learned of his burning desire to be at Henderson State leading our basketball program into the future, it was clear that Jimmy Elgas was the coach we were looking for," Jones said.
"Throughout the process, it also became very clear to me he is a relationship-builder who inspires trust and respect with his student-athletes and those who work with and support his program. He is a natural leader who will serve as a terrific role model for all who follow our program."
"Henderson State basketball is one of the most tradition rich programs in this part of the country. I am eager to engage, connect and develop relationships with all the former players and coaches that gave so much to the program when they were here. It is a privilege to be a part of this program and that is something that I, my staff and the players will always embrace," said Elgas.
Prior to his stint at Evansville, Elgas spent a year at the University of Utah, and the previous six years at Kansas State.
As an assistant coach at Kansas State, Elgas recruited eight all-Big 12 Conference selections. With one of the youngest teams in the Big 12 Conference in 2004-05, Elgas helped head coach Jim Wooldridge guide the Wildcats to their first winning season in six years with a 17-12 overall record.
In 2006, Elgas stepped in as Kansas State's interim head coach for two games (Feb. 8 and 15), posting a 1-1 record with a win over Iowa State.
Elgas played a major role in recruiting for Kansas State. The program garnered three top-25 recruiting classes during his tenure, including the nation's best class in 2002-03, according to Hoop Scoop magazine. The '02-03 class included one consensus Top 100 player in Cartier Martin, as well as junior college transfer Jeremiah Massey who was named the 2003-04 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
As director of basketball operations, Elgas oversaw coordination of all operations within the Wildcat basketball program, including assisting in the organization of recruiting activities, running the Jim Wooldridge Basketball Camp, organizing K-State coaching clinics, and overseeing the Wildcat Faculty/Staff Club. In addition, Elgas coordinated all team travel and led special projects for the basketball office.
Elgas was an assistant coach at Texas State (formerly Southwest Texas State) from 1995-2000. He was instrumental in the recruiting process of the Bobcat basketball program. As an assistant for Mike Miller's squad, he serve as the recruiting coordinator, monitoring academic progress and coordinating scheduling. He also assisted with on-the-floor coaching and the coordination of practice and workout schedules.
During his tenure, the Bobcats were 75-62, won two Southland Conference championships, and advanced to the 1997 NCAA Tournament.
In 1998-99, Elgas helped guide the Bobcats to their first outright Southland Conference regular season title with a 19-9 overall record and a 13-5 league mark. It was the second championship in three years for the 'Cats, who also captured the 1996-97 crown. The Bobcats were led by all-conference performer Jeff Foster, who became an NBA first round draft choice in 1999 and went 21st to the Indiana Pacers.
In five years at Texas State, Elgas coached 10 all-Southland Conference selections.
Prior to his days at Texas State, Elgas served a coaching stint at Lincoln (Ill.) College. During his two seasons as assistant coach, Elgas helped the Lynx to an overall record of 46-16.
During the 1993-94 season, Lincoln was the second-best defensive team in the nation in terms of field-goal percentage. The Lynx went on to place in the nation's top 20 the following season, limiting opponents to 70.4 points on average.
Elgas graduated from Illinois State in 1993. He worked with the Redbird team as a student assistant coach from 1991-93 under the direction of head coach Bob Bender. The Redbirds claimed the Missouri Valley Conference championship in each of Elgas' two seasons on the Redbirds' bench.
A native of Crystal Lake, Ill., Elgas played high school basketball at Crystal Lake Central High. He was a two-year starter and served as team captain his senior season.
Elgas, 43, is married to the former Tamara Grier who played basketball at Texas Lutheran. They have three children – Kyla, James and Kambry.
"The structure within our program will be simple. We will work tirelessly for each other and the program," Elgas stated. "We will be great listeners of one another. We will be care about others more than ourselves. This championship attitude will be in everything that we do, whether it be on the practice court, in the classroom or in the Arkadelphia community. With this championship attitude, we will be successful across the board in everything that we do. I am equally excited to get started working with our current group of Henderson State players. I look forward to arriving to campus in the coming days."
Henderson State will hold a "Meet and Greet" later this month to welcome Coach Elgas and his family.