Pharos-Tribune

Local Sports

June 12, 2013

Pioneer hires Cowley as boys basketball coach

Winamac grad coached last 2 years under Skaggs.

Pioneer’s boys basketball team will undergo a youth movement in the coming year.

The Panthers will also have a young coach at the helm.

Austin Cowley, 30, was hired as the next boys basketball coach during Tuesday’s school board meeting. His hiring was approved by a 5-0 vote.

Cowley, who teaches social studies at the high school, was the JV coach under former coach Pat Skaggs the previous two seasons.

“I think that over the last couple years working side by side with coach Skaggs certainly prepared him for this,” Pioneer athletic director Mike Johnson said. “So hopefully there will be a lot of carryover from the last program to his.

“He’s a basketball guy, a gym rat. He loves it. I know he’ll work hard at it. He’s deserving.”

Cowley said that coach Skaggs built a stable program and that he’s excited to follow in his footsteps and take over the reins.

Skaggs’ JV coach prior to Cowley, Jim Metcalfe, is now the head coach at Peru after a one-year stint at Rochester.

“I have to echo coach Skaggs in that Pioneer has a class athletics program and academics,” he said. “Coach Johnson has done a great job with the athletics program.”

Cowley is a 2001 graduate of Winamac, where he was part of a sectional championship in basketball and a regional championship in football his senior year.

He graduated college at IUPUI. Prior to coming to Pioneer he was an assistant at South Newton for two years. He was the JV coach for one year at Winamac during a one-year teaching job at his alma mater. He also gained two years of coaching experience while in college — one year at Harrison and one year in Ohio.

The Panthers have won four straight sectional titles and went 67-31 in Skaggs’ four seasons at the helm.

But with the graduation of an excellent senior class and with leading scorer Carter Skaggs going to Logansport with his father, Pat, the Panthers will have a young group on the court next season.

“We say goodbye to one of the best senior classes this school has seen,” Cowley said. “Being able to follow their lead will be huge for us.

“We’re bringing back the same team that I coached at the JV level. We’ll continue that stability.”

Pioneer’s JV team went 14-6 this winter.

“We do bring back J.P. Smith, one of our two returning seniors,” Cowley said. “Looking at the sophomore class, we have Sam Kiser, Caleb Kindley, Chad Clifford and Zach Mason. They were solid starters for the JV as freshman. They’ve been focused for every workout and want to continue the Pioneer tradition. I really can’t ask for harder workers. We’ll have a junior, Deven Smith, and a freshman, Keith Nies, who’s been playing travel ball.”

Cowley said that veteran coach Tom Isenbarger, a varsity assistant under Skaggs the past four seasons, will be back on the sidelines for the Panthers.

With all that Pioneer is losing in production, the Midwest Conference landscape has changed. Cowley said Caston and North White could be the favorites next season.

Skaggs said both his old stop, Pioneer, and new stop, Logansport, will be in similar situations experience-wise next season.

“He’s got to replace almost 100 percent of their scoring. Any time you go into a new situation obviously there will be a period of adjustments and it will take some time,” he said. “I’m going to expect the same thing at Logansport. We’re going to graduate almost 100 percent of our scoring as well. It is what it is. Hopefully you can improve and work on things in the summer to get better.”

Skaggs added Cowley is a “good fit” for the program.

“He has a good relationship with the kids coming back,” he said. “I’m excited for Austin. He was an excellent assistant coach for me. He’s somebody who has a passion for basketball. He’s somebody who is a hard worker and is willing to put the time in.

“I thought he did a real nice job with the JV kids the last couple years. I think he has a lot of the qualities that will help make him a successful varsity basketball coach.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • SPT-PT041814 LHS Tennis.jpg Logan tops Lewis Cass in early season tennis match Logansport's girls tennis team defeated rival Lewis Cass 4-1 Thursday in Walton. The Berries improved to 2-1 on the young season while the Kings dropped to 0-1. Whitney Jennings defeated Gabi Hartley 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, Brooke Bullard defeated

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • No. 7 Lewis Cass baseball falls at HN, 3-2 Lewis Cass' baseball team suffered its first setback of the season with a 3-2 loss at Huntington North on Thursday. Kyle Dwiggins hit a two-run home run for the Class 2A No. 7 Kings (3-1) in the fourth inning. He later doubled. But the Vikings scored

    April 18, 2014

  • SPT-PT041714 - phs AOW Kayte Miller.jpg Miller looking for one more big season for the Panthers Pioneer senior Kayte Miller has enjoyed a lot of success in volleyball and softball during her four-year career. Miller has one more season of softball this spring with the Panthers before she will play the sport at Ancilla College next year. Miller

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-PT041714 - lhs baseball.jpg Logan baseball wins at Taylor, moves to 4-1 Logansport's baseball team held off a late Taylor rally for a 13-9 win Wednesday in Kokomo. The Berries (4-1) were one out away from winning by 10-run rule in the fifth inning before the Titans (1-1) extended the game with two runs to make it a 13-4

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs, April 17 Logansport to honor Jennings on May 16 The Berry Boosters and Logansport High School are having a community celebration to honor and recognize the 2014 Indiana Miss Basketball, Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year and Parade All-American Whitney Jenni

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT-PT041614 - Nate Champion.jpg Champion caps Le Moyne career with run to NCAA Tourney

    For Nate Champion reaching the NCAA Tournament was always a major goal at Division-II Le Moyne University. Champion and the Dolphins reached that goal this season during his senior year. Champion said that when he and 6-foot-11 big man Jim Janson ent

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Wednesday, April 16 Lewis Cass senior point guard Maci Maupin will continue her basketball career at the next level.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041614 - Tom Lindley column - Lindley column sig We're all still watching Wildcats' Calipari After winning a big case and accepting compliments from his fellow attorneys, the man thanked his colleagues and responded that he really would have liked to represent the opposition. “I think I could have won arguing their side, too,” he told them.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Logan AD Fisher to retire Logansport athletic director Greg Fisher’s retirement request was approved by the Logansport Community School Corporation school board Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Sports briefs for Tuesday, April 15 Monday's inclement weather meant led to postponements of scheduled sporting events.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.