AUDIO: Janata says he’s excited to take over the Jaguars boys basketball program.
HOWELLS – A familiar face will be walking up and down the sidelines when the Howells-Dodge boys basketball team takes the floor for the 2018/2019 season.
Kevin Janata, a 2007 graduate of Howells High School, will take over for Cole Fischer, who stepped down to take the principal position.
Janata says he’s welcoming the opportunity to coach back in his old stomping grounds.
“I’m pretty excited. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time, just wondering if that opportunity would ever come up,” Janata said. “I’m just kinda ready to go to work and kinda prove that they’re not just giving this job to a hometown kid. That I’m gonna do everything I can to show that I’ve earned it and just go to work and try to be as successful as possible. It’s hard to describe, but I’m just really excited to get started.”
Janata attended Nebraska Wesleyan University where he participated in track, and graduated in 2011. He then spent the 2011-2012 season as an assistant coach for the Plainview boys basketball team, before taking over as head coach from 2012-2017. Janata also served as the head track coach at Plainview from 2011-2017. He spent this past season as an assistant boys basketball coach at Crofton High School.
There’s quite the lineage of basketball history in Howells, with the likes of legendary head coach Jim Morrison, to Scott Lamberty who is now coaching successfully at York, to Fischer himself, who was the first head boys basketball coach for the Howells-Dodge consolidation, winning a state title in 2013.
Janata, who was a member of Morrison’s last team in Howells, says he feels the pressure from that line of success.
“There’s just not a lot of turnover at the position, so when the opportunity came up and a chance to coach, I knew I had to try and see if I could get,” Janata said. “And yeah, there is a little pressure, just because I wanna do well, but I kinda like the pressure. I like the fact that there’s expectations and people want the program to do well and I’m kind of excited to take on the challenge and see how well we can do.”
With the ever evolving game of basketball, Janata says he plans to implement a style of play that is best suited toward the athletes on the team.
“My philosophy is to try to find a system that matches the kids, and make sure that you’re doing the best job you can to put them in a position to be successful,” Janata said. “If we teach them fundamentals and hard work and how to put in the time, the wins will come by themselves and we’ll just worry about what we can do to be better basketball players and better people, honestly.”
Along with coaching basketball at the varsity level, Janata will also be involved with coaching junior high track, with the possibility of coaching with the high school in the future.
Sporting the team colors of the Howells-Dodge Jaguars won’t be the only upcoming change in Janat’s life, as he is also getting married over the summer.
“I’m getting married this summer, so I gotta get over that hurdle before I look too far,” Janata said. “But I am looking forward to getting back into the community and just being part of that community. Just growing up there, I know the Howells-Dodge area is a special place and I’m just excited to be back in that community.”
Janata takes over a Jaguars program that finished this past season at 13-12 overall and made it to the semifinals of the C2-4 Subdistrict tournament.