By Mike Mattson
Local Sports Journal
Former Muskegon Catholic Central athletic director/basketball coach Dave Ingles likes to wear green shirts.
That’s a good thing because Reeths-Puffer has hired Ingles as its boys’ varsity basketball coach. Green is the school color for Ingles’ last three coaching jobs – Grand Rapids West Catholic, MCC and R-P.
“I see a theme there,” said the 39-year-old Ingles, who met with Puffer basketball players on Thursday afternoon. “I’ve kind of adopted green as my favorite color.
“I’m excited,” he added about taking over the Puffer program. “I talked to (Athletic Director Tony Schmitt) a while ago about it. I met (Human Resources Director Rob Renes) and (Superintendent Steve Edwards) and they are fired up about basketball. They want it to be at a place I want to take it to.”
Ingles led Muskegon Catholic to a 17-10 record last season, including an impressive run to the Class D state semifinals. Southfield Christian defeated the Crusaders 78-74 in the semifinals en route to the state championship.
He’s also coached at Allegan and Whitmore Lake and served as an assistant at Alma College and Western Michigan University.
Now, Ingles will turn his attention to rebuilding Puffer’s sagging Class A basketball program. The Rockets won only 10 games over the last two seasons.
Tim Whalen, an assistant at MCC, will continue to work with Ingles, while other basketball positions at the high school must be filled.
“We’ll set goals right away,” Ingles said. “We want to get to the Breslin Center. I don’t know if they’ve ever talked about that at Puffer before. We want to take it to the same place we took Catholic.”
Schmitt used a patient approach to fill the basketball job. He believes Ingles is the right man to get Puffer back on track in basketball.
“It’s been a search that I wasn’t going to just settle for a coach,” Schmitt said. “It had to be a quality person and a knowledgeable person. He has a lot of knowledge. Dave will bring focus to developing our youth programs and building competitive teams year after year.”
Ingle does not have a teaching position at Puffer.
Instead, he is starting a business with his cousin and former Greenville star Zach Ingles. They will give private lessons to various age groups. More information on the business can be found at Inglesbasketball.com.