by Emily Armentrout
On May 28, Northfield’s athletic director, Geoff Salmon, and principal, Mike Keaffaber, held a meet and greet at the school for Northfield’s new varsity boys’ basketball coach, Patrick Hopkins. Hopkins is recent graduate of Indiana Wesleyan, where he not only had a successful basketball career but was also a youth mentor. He is licensed to teach physical education and health, and is currently seeking a teaching position around the area.
While at Indiana Wesleyan University, Hopkins was a two-time All American, conference player of the year, and was voted the IWU male athlete of the year.
“I believe in what I am going to coach. I had personal success at Indiana Wesleyan under the new National Coach of the Year, Greg Tonagel, so I’ve had great mentors and I believe in what we can do,” said Hopkins. “I love basketball and I love kids. I was helped, as a kid, through sports, to become a better person and my mentors really helped me out like that and so I want to return the favor to a younger generation by helping some boys turn into men by teaching them life skills.
“And luckily I was given basketball and I feel like I can be a good coach and so it all fit together. God gave me the opportunity to coach and I am excited about it,”
“Patrick Hopkins has a genuine interest in making personal connections that build trust and enthusiasm,” said Jeff Clark, associate head coach for Indiana Wesleyan.
Coach Hopkins was previously the head junior varsity coach at Alexandria Monroe High School, where he was also the varsity assistant basketball coach.
“I am very excited to bring Coach Hopkins to Northfield. I believe his passion for basketball and mentoring young men will be welcomed by our entire community. Patrick brings a contagious personality as well as a history of success in basketball to our program,” said Northfield Athletic Director Geoff Salmon.
Hopkins recently held a team meeting to get to know some of his players, and though only a few showed up, Hopkins is excited for their first practice. “We had a team meeting and a few showed up so we talked for a while. I am really excited but they seemed to be a little shy. I don’t know if it is because I am really tall. I am 6’6’’. Only a few showed up but I was really excited and they seem to be excited as well. We’re going to have a lot of fun this year. I believe in what I can do and I have only heard good things about the kids so I am excited to get started.”