New Warren Central boys basketball coach 'reminds you a lot of a young Brad Stevens'

Photo: Courtesy of Warren Central High School

New Warren Central boys basketball coach 'reminds you a lot of a young Brad Stevens'

Boys Basketball

New Warren Central boys basketball coach 'reminds you a lot of a young Brad Stevens'

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After his second boys basketball coaching hire this month, Warren Central athletic director Marques Clayton said the program has the right man in place.

Garrett Winegar, an assistant for the last three years under coach Criss Beyers, was named as the Warriors’ coach on Friday. It is the first head coaching job for the 27-year-old Winegar, a Rochester native who was also previously an assistant at Bloomington South.

“The opportunity to be around Garrett the past three years and observe him as a coach as it relates to player development, preparation in game planning and all the big things and little things he did for coach Beyers, told us a lot,” Clayton said. “He developed a great relationship with the kids and they responded really well to him.”

Garrett Winegar is Warren Central’s new boys basketball head coach. (Photo: Courtesy of Warren Central High School)

Winegar got the job held briefly by another former Warren Central assistant. Kristof Kendrick, who was on Beyers’ staff for two years at Warren Central before taking the head coaching job at Howe, was hired three weeks ago. Kendrick left the position earlier this week for a job on the Bradley University staff.

“Warren Central has been really good to me for the last three years,” Winegar said. “From my point of view, it is one of the best jobs in the state. I was always interested, but the first time I didn’t apply. When I heard the possibility that Kristof might go to Bradley, it kind of progressed from there.”

Winegar has big shoes to fill. Beyers, now coaching at Franklin Central, led the Warriors to an undefeated Class 4A state championship in 2018 and an 86-18 record overall in his four seasons at Warren Central. The good news is that Winegar was part of a staff that helped Warren Central to a 76-6 record the past three seasons.

“He has a great basketball mind,” Clayton said of Winegar. “He reminds you a lot of a young Brad Stevens or similar to a coach like Ryan Osborn (at Carmel). He’s kind of in that same vein. I think he’s one of those coaches that if you don’t hire him now, it might be hard to hire him 10 years from now because he will be long gone somewhere else.”

Clayton said Winegar was not part of the process when Kendrick was hired.

“Once we heard his vision for the program, how he would develop players and work with our feeder system and middle school programs, we got excited,” Clayton said.

Warren Central will turn the page next year with a new coach and many new faces on the roster after graduating several key seniors like Indiana All-Star Jesse Bingham, David Bell, Jakobie Robinson, Isiah Moore, Manny Brown and more from last year’s team. But Clayton said feels better about the future of the program than ever.

“I think we hired a very good young coach in Kristof Kendrick and that was apparent by his opportunity to coach at the Division I level,” Clayton said. “And we turned around and got someone in place who is just as talented, if not more talented, in Garrett Winegar.”

Winegar graduated from Indiana, where he realized as a senior that coaching was the route he wanted to pursue. He was a head coach for two years at Jackson Creek Middle School in Bloomington before joining J.R. Holmes’ staff at Bloomington South. He has also been in charge of player development for the Indiana Elite grassroots program and at Warren Central.

While Winegar does not have head coaching experience at the high school level, he said he feels like he has been preparing for this opportunity for a long time.

“A lot changes when you move over that one seat,” he said. “But when it comes to scouting and preparing for practice, I feel like I’ve been getting ready for this for a long time. I’ve been lucky to coach with coaches like (Holmes and Beyers) who empower their staff to do a lot of coaching. They let you coach and give you a lot of responsibility. I feel like these last three years with coach Beyers has prepared me for this moment.”

Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.

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New Warren Central boys basketball coach 'reminds you a lot of a young Brad Stevens'
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