The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

April 3, 2013

Bulldogs land Kanaskie to coach hoops

OTTUMWA — A content smile rested on Kevin Kanaskie’s face after he was announced as the new coach of the Ottumwa boys basketball program Wednesday afternoon at Ottumwa High School.

Kanaskie, who holds the all-time record in assists — and starts, games played and minutes played — at Middle Tennessee State University, where he played point guard from 2005-2009; expressed how excited he is to take the reins of the Bulldog program.

“If I could move to Ottumwa tomorrow, I would,” he said.

Kanaskie played briefly for Dowling Catholic High School before he moved on to have a sterling career at State College Area High School in Pennsylvania.

“We are excited to bring someone with his knowledge and experience of the game. He’ll bring a lot of energy to the program,” said Ottumwa athletic director Tom Kopatich.

Though all eyes were fastened on the new coach, he made it clear this would be a one-time event — from this point on everything is about the team. While he answered questions, Kanaskie, whose dad Kurt Kanaskie coached Drake University from 1996-2003 and now is an assistant coach for Virginia Tech, communicated his affinity for hard man-to-man defense, as he said he would like to see his team “pressure the ball.” The coach, who will replace Chris Gravett, who spent five years as head of the Bulldog program; said he isn’t opposed to employing a zone defense when the situation calls for it.

Offensively, Kansaskie said he would like to see Ottumwa get out and run the floor when the opportunity presents itself. But when fast break chances are rare, the coach has a predilection for the motion offense. Kanaskie, however, said he will evaluate his players to see what offense would be a good fit for the team collectively.

Before he took the job at Ottumwa, Kanaskie served as a graduate assistant coach for Quincy, Ill., University and a freshman basketball coach at Waukee High School.

To resurrect the Bulldog program from its current state, Kanaskie wants to build from the ground up. And, he said he wants to do this by creating solid youth programs — so he familiarizes as many young basketball players in the region with the program at an early age.

Kanaskie answered a few questions about some of his returning players at the conference, namely Carter Burns and point guard Andrew Altfillisch.

“He’s going to have to score,” Kanaskie said about Burns. “When he’s not scoring he needs to be making other people better.”

The coach said, because of their inexperience, some of the mistakes Burns, Altfillisch and company made last year were youthful mistakes that will hopefully be lessened now that so many Bulldogs have another year of varsity level experience behind them. Of the 15 Bulldogs who suited up last season, 12 will return.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 0419 OTT Sports Hogue and McKay photo Big day for Hogue, McKay By KEVIN PINK IHCC Information Department Former IHCC teammates take part in ISU's big day at State Capitol Big day for Hogue, McKay

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports Ashley Salgado photo Former OHS star Salgado signs with Converse College OTTUMWA -- Former Ottumwa star athlete Ashley Salgado has signed her National Letter of Intent to play women's basketball at Converse College, a NCAA Division II institution in Spartansburg, SC. Salgado played two seasons at Marshalltown Community Co

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports IHCC baseball photo Falcons remain in first after sweep at Muscatine MUSCATINE — Friday provided the first-place Indian Hills baseball team with two very different games at Muscatine. Fortunately for the Falcons, the results were the same. IHCC remained tied atop the region with Iowa Western after sweeping the first t

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports IHCC golf photo Warrior golfers boast big lead at Illinois invite SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — After one round, the Indian Hills men's golf team boasts a 15-stroke lead in the Blue Boy Invitational Friday with a score of 296 strokes. Jakob Garstecki spearheaded the Warriors' success by firing the top score of the day at 72

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports softball color photo Warriors suffer sophomore day sweep to Southeastern OTTUMWA — Jim Overturf has been coaching junior college softball for over two decades. In that time, Overturf has seen over two decades worth of days dedicated to celebrating a departing class of sophomore players. In his experience, Overturf has see

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albia boys have record-setting night at Waukee WAUKEE — Alex Schultz turned in a pair of outstanding performances at what ended up being a record-setting night for the Albia boys track and field team at the Waukee Invitational. Competing as the lone Class 2A school against some elite competition,

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Sports Ottuwa Conference photo Ottumwa AD talks about possible conference change OTTUMWA — Tom Kopatich has plenty of experience with the Southeast Conference. Kopatich, the athletic director for Ottumwa High School, coached the Ottumwa football team when the Bulldogs belonged to the conference. So what does he think about a pos

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • On Tap Saturday Boys Soccer Ottumwa at Waterloo West Invitational, 9 a.m. Oskaloosa at Winterset Tournament, 10 a.m. College Golf Indian Hills at Buena Vista Spring Invitational (Storm Lake) College Baseball Indian Hills at Muscatine (DH), Noon College Softball Indi

    April 18, 2014

  • Ottumwa boys track ties for seventh in Urbandale URBANDALE — The Ottumwa boys track and field team tied for seventh place with Des Moines North at the Chuck Silvey Invitational at Urbandale Thursday with 11 points. The Bulldog boys 4x400 team of Roger Cruz, Matt Moreland, Jalen Strunk and Osha Wyl

    April 18, 2014

  • Clarification Clarification: The Ottumwa boys tennis team competes at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Dan Staggs Courts against Ankeny.

    April 18, 2014

NCAA Tournament Scoreboard
Sports photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook