Joe Kuhn, the head coach of the Joliet Junior College men’s basketball team, has more than just the new year to celebrate. Earlier this month, Kuhn received the honor of being selected as an inductee for the 2017 NJCAA Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Kuhn has served on the JJC’s men’s basketball coaching staff for 20 years. Under his guidance, he has led the Wolves to the NJCAA DIII men’s basketball championship in 2010, as well as runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2005.
But Kuhn’s impressive record doesn’t end there. He has guided the Wolves to fifteen straight NJCAA Region 4 Championship appearances, totaling 30 wins in a single season and 21 wins in a row–all program bests. In addition to his outstanding achievements, he has coached fifteen NJCAA All-Americans, 35 All-Region players and was named District Coach of the Year six times.
Kuhn says when he received the call from Tom McDonald, the NJCAA men’s region director, he was elated.
“It’s very exciting and humbling at the same time. For a coach, this is like the highest level of personal achievement I could gain.”
JJC’s Athletic Director Wayne King agrees.
“It’s an outstanding award for him personally and for the college. Joe has just done an outstanding job here and I’m very appreciative of the work he has done for the school,” King said. “He really represents us, the school and community in a way that you would think a college basketball coach would do.”
In addition to coaching part time, Kuhn also teaches at Rich East High School.
Although Kuhn has gained plenty of success here at JJC, he says that he couldn’t have done it without some very key people.
“Keith Kinlzer, my assistant coach, has been with me for 20 years and he is a former player at JJC. So obviously for me, I couldn’t have gain this type of honor without a great assistant coach, as well as all the really good players that we have had the fortune to have in the past 20 years. All those people were instrumental to my personal success.”
To commemorate Coach Kuhn’s achievement, the athletic department plans to hold a ceremony for him during the last home men’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. in the A.A. Wills Gymnasium on the Main Campus.
The official induction ceremony for the NJCAA Hall of Fame will be held on Saturday, Apr. 29 in Las Vegas, Nev.
For more information about the Wolves basketball team or the athletic department, visit www.jjc.edu/athletics.