MENDOTA – A new coach has been hired to lead the Mendota High School varsity boys’ basketball team beginning with the 2019-20 season. Peru native Justin Jacobson was approved by the MHS District 280 Board of Education at a special meeting on June 10.
Jacobson is a 2007 graduate of LaSalle-Peru High School where he was a member of the Cavaliers’ basketball team. Most recently he was an assistant coach at NCAA Division II University of Michigan-Dearborn, and before that he was an assistant coach at Eureka College and IVCC. Jacobson also started and ran a travel/AAU program for 10 years for the Illinois Valley Spartans.
Jacobson said he was attracted to the Mendota coaching position because, despite recent hard times, the program has a long tradition of success.
“Mendota has a great basketball tradition and the town really supports the program,” stated Jacobson. “When the job was offered to me, it was something that I couldn’t turn down. This is a great opportunity to build something and return Mendota basketball to its old glory.
“Being a head coach at a local high school is something that has yet to be on my resume and this is a terrific opportunity for myself both personally and professionally. I am looking forward to being a part of resurrecting Trojan basketball.”
Jacobson said the calling card for the program will be simple – defense and toughness.
“We are going to outwork every opponent and defend hard,” said Jacobson. “Developing and enhancing the fundamentals and simplifying the game will be a large part of our coaching philosophy moving forward, and the staff has been tremendous in following that message so far this summer.”
Jacobson graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in political science before completing his master’s in sports management at American Public University.