Wonders tapped as San Jacinto College men’s basketball head coach
PASADENA, Texas – San Jacinto College (SJC) Central athletic director Scott Horstman has announced the hiring of Jacob Wonders as head men’s basketball head coach. Wonders spent last season as a SJC assistant coach, and replaces Scott Gernander, who resigned last month after accepting a voluntary separation and severance plan offered by the College.
“I’m both honored and humbled to be named the San Jacinto College men’s basketball head coach,” said Wonders, who is the seventh coach in the history of the SJC men’s basketball program. “It’s a great time to be a part of this program. We’re coming off a successful season, and I look forward to building on that success and continuing the basketball tradition here at San Jac in the years to come. I’d like to thank Coach Gernander, Coach Horstman, Dr. (H. Neil) Matkin, Dr. (Brenda) Hellyer, and the rest of the San Jacinto College community for this opportunity.”
Wonders has more than 10 years coaching experience, including a four-year stint as head coach at Panola College in Carthage, Texas. Under his tutelage, the Ponies averaged more than 80 points per game each season (2006-2010), and qualified for the regional tournament in his last three seasons. Panola advanced to the regional semifinals in 2008, marking only the second time in 25 years for the Ponies. Wonders also saw 27 student-athletes continue their education and basketball careers at four-year universities, including 17 who earned scholarships to play at the NCAA Division I level.
Prior to his time at Panola, Wonders spent three years as an assistant coach at Houston Baptist University (HBU). With the Huskies he was responsible for scouting, academic monitoring, on-the-floor coaching, and coordinating recruiting efforts. During his tenure, HBU went 77-22, including three consecutive National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national tournament berths and a top-10 national ranking in points per game. During the 2005-06 season, Wonders’ last at HBU, the Huskies finished 8th in the nation with a 27-6 overall record, and appeared in the NAIA Sweet Sixteen for the second time in school history.
“We are excited to have Jacob as our new men’s basketball head coach,” said Horstman. “He has a proven record both as an assistant and head coach, and has the ability to recruit top-notch student-athletes to continue the tradition of basketball excellence here at San Jacinto College.”
Wonders began his coaching career at his alma mater, Central Michigan University, where he was a student assistant with the Chippewas. He then came to Texas where he served as an assistant coach for four years at Lamar University in Beaumont. During that time, Lamar won the 2000 Southland Conference tournament championship, and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament, the Cardinals’ only NCAA tournament appearance in the last 25 years. Wonders has also held coaching stints at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, and as a volunteer assistant coach at San Jacinto College during the 2001-02 season. In his first tour in Pasadena, San Jac went 30-2 overall, won the conference championship, and finished the season with a final National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) ranking of third.
“Coach Wonders was an excellent addition to the San Jacinto College basketball program when he joined us a year ago; he is well prepared to serve as head coach,” added Dr. H. Neil Matkin, San Jacinto College Central campus president. “Jacob is extraordinarily talented and I look forward to him leading the Ravens for many seasons to come.”
A native of Detroit, Mich., Wonders earned a degree in sports studies from Central Michigan University in 1997, and a master’s in kinesiology from Lamar University in 2000. He and his wife, Caren, have two children. He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC). He currently serves as the College Men’s Director for the TABC Board.
For more information about the San Jacinto College men’s basketball program, visit www.sanjacsports.com.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for nearly 50 years. We are committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of more than 29,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career-track choices. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of ever-changing industry in the region. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit www.sanjac.edu, or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SanJacintoCollege.