Former Traverse City West coach, Greg Immink, named boys basketball coach
November 24, 2015
Nine phone interviews.
Six face to face meetings.
Two large group interviews.
But only one coach was chosen to lead Grand Haven’s boys varsity basketball team.
Hope College graduate, Greg Immink, was named head coach following Bob Eidson’s one year stint as interim coach.
“I guess they liked some things they saw in me,” Immink said. “So they gave me the honor of being the coach here at Grand Haven which I am very grateful for.”
Immink had many qualities that stood out from other applicants. His long resume of experience that includes playing professionally in Europe, being an assistant under Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and serving as Traverse City West’s head coach during two of their most successful seasons, is impressive. But Athletic Director Scott Robertson recognized something more in Immink.
“The biggest thing that kept ringing true when talking to people about Greg was his ability to connect with kids on a very personal level,” Robertson said. “I think that is very important. That has always been a tradition in our program. I think he fits that bill in a big way.”
The team seems to be in agreement with Robertson’s decision .
“We all just really like him,” junior Ross Koella said. “We love hanging out with him and playing with him. He fits well with our team’s style. He is just a great person and a great coach.”
Immink recognizes that creating a team atmosphere will lead to success.
“I think with any team chemistry is an unbelievable important piece of the puzzle,” Immink said “That is worth a few wins right there if a team has good chemistry. So that is something I really like to focus on.”
Basketball has always been an immense part of Immink’s life. His father was a long time high school coach and he played for Hudsonville before moving on to Hope College.
“Being a player and a coach are very closely related, so it was great training ground for being a coach.” Immink said. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else other than coaching. I love to help teach kids the game, watch them learn, show them something new and watch them master it.”
Although so much time around the sport could lead to burnout, Immink remains as passionate as when first stepped on the court.
“When you get to a certain level, the taste of success and the striving to be the best is what really drives you,” Immink said. “Everyone is wired differently, for me it just became a competitive thing. Once I felt what it was like to win I wanted to that more and that gave me the passion to play.”
According to Robertson, Immink’s quiet demeanor is nowhere to be found when it comes to his coaching style.
“He’s a little reserved,” Robertson said. “But he coaches with a ton of passion and energy. I have no doubts that our athletes will be held at very high expectations.”
Immink believes that by giving athletes something to live up to, they will be successful.
“The biggest thing is holding them to that standard,” Immink said. “But the ultimate goal is to help players realize that they can do more than they think. That’s what I am going to try to do here at Grand Haven.”
This idea is already evident among the players.
“We have a lot of confidence going into this season,” Koella said. “We have a lot of talent as a team and I think coach Immink will help us put that together.”
GHHS has a history of a strong coaching legacies and Immink is looking forward to becoming a part of it.
“They have to have trust in the coach that you have their best interest in mind,” Immink said. “I think Grand Haven basketball has a very proud tradition,” Immink said. “They have had really good coaches all the way through, I am going to try my best to continue the excellence and put our stamp on the history of Grand Haven Basketball.”