After nine seasons as a varsity head girls basketball coach in Tippecanoe County, Geoff Salmon is ready for the next challenge.
“Being able to coach too will really help out. Not a lot of schools will allow you to do that anymore,” said Salmon, who completed his master’s degree from Purdue-Calumet in the winter.
Jeff athletic director Mark Preston said he hopes to have a new coach in place by the start of the school year.
Salmon posted a 104-107 record in nine seasons at Jeff and Central Catholic, where he won four sectional titles and the 2006 Class A state championship. In his first season with the Bronchos, he coached the program to their only Hoosier Crossroads Conference championship in 2009-10.
“He was always there to get kids and give everybody their opportunity. I think as a result of that, people respected him and really enjoyed playing for him,” Preston said. “I think more than anything, more than championships and conference titles, is his putting mentors and role models in front of our kids who are going to treat them the right way. Geoff always did a great job of that.”
Salmon taught engineering and technology at Lafayette Jeff.
Northfield competes in Class 2A and went 16-6 last season, losing to eventual sectional champion Wabash in the semifinals.
The Norsemen return four starters, including Kylie Echard, who was an honorable mention all-state player as a junior.
Lafayette Jeff is coming off a 3-19 season and graduated forwards Erin West and Allessandria Aikerson-Russell. West was the team’s third leading scorer and Russell led the Bronchos in rebounds. Leading scorer Aliyia Kind and All-Hoosier Crossroads Conference honorable-mention selection Carlie Hinkel return, along with starters and key reserves in Kara Homeier, Kaylee Simms, Martina McQuay and Rylie Pittard.
“This summer has been very productive. We won a lot of games this summer and girls have new confidence in abilities,” Salmon said. “Carlie Hinkel has gotten so much better the last few years. Aliyia Kind has turned her game up this summer. It’s a tough situation when you work with those kids and see growth starting to happen, to leave and not see that through.”