Girls basketball: Jonathan Henegar to take over as Bureau Valley coach

Princeton native previously coached in Kewanee for 12 years

Jon Henegar, 34, a varsity boys basketball 
 assistant at Kewanee High School, has been named as the new varsity girls basketball coach at Bureau Valley. He is a 2008 Princeton High School coach.

MANLIUS – Jonathan Henegar didn’t have to go too far to follow his dream.

Henegar had been wanting to become a head basketball coach one day, and he has found that opportunity at Bureau Valley. He was named as the Storm’s new varsity girls basketball coach at Wednesday’s board meeting, succeeding Matt Wasilewski, who resigned after three seasons.

Henegar, 34, has been living in his hometown of Princeton while commuting each day to teach and coach basketball in Kewanee the past 12 years, most recently as the varsity boys assistant coach.

“That’s what I’ve been building toward over here in Kewanee and getting some experience. I learned a lot here,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m excited for the opportunity [at Bureau Valley]. I’m really excited looking at the facilities and the kids that are going to be there and the administration and support from them.”

Henegar, who has been teaching at Kewanee Central Junior High, will teach junior high social studies at Bureau Valley. His wife, Margaret, teaches fourth grade in the Bureau Valley district. His new job will bring them all together.

“It’s a lot closer to home for me. My wife works at Bureau Valley as well and we take our daughter [Eleanor] to day care,” he said.

Henegar, a 2008 graduate of Princeton High School and former Tigers player, was freshman coach for three years at Kewanee and helped out at the junior high before becoming varsity assistant. He wants to take all that he’s learned as an assistant and mold it into building the best program he can at Bureau Valley.

“I want to bring some energy and some enthusiasm and keeps things positive, but coach them when they need to be coached,” he said. “A lot of that can be done effectively with positivity and building those habits every day in practice. I want to start building a culture. I want Bureau Valley girls basketball to be something that people look at all the time and say, ‘That is a winning program.’ Whether we’re winning 20 games or 10 games, or whatever the case may be. You can still do things the right way and build your program up.

“Some of things I’m going to build on are effort, toughness and playing together as a team. I think all those things add up.”

Bureau Valley athletic director Brad Bickett said Henegar will be a good fit for the Storm.

“He’s been waiting in the wings a little bit doing many roles there in Kewanee and the boys staff,” he said. “I’ve watched him and he is super involved, very engaged and is a great Xs and Os guy and has great passion for the game. We’re excited to have him.”

Henegar wants to meet his new players as soon as he can, working around his schedule as frosh-soph baseball coach at Kewanee. He’s looked up some video on Hudl and has a good idea what he will have coming back from this year’s 14-16 squad.

“We’ve got a couple seniors going to be pretty talented. Got some younger kids in the high school now that are pretty talented, and I know our junior high program has done a nice job,” he said.

Henegar is the fifth head girls basketball coach in 10 years, following Tiffany Gonigam, Jim Nugent, Daniel Sinclair and Wasilewski, and the eighth in program history.

Jon Henegar, 34, who coaches F/S baseball and has been a varsity boys basketball assistant at Kewanee High School, has been named as the new varsity girls basketball coach at Bureau Valley. He is a 2008 Princeton High School coach.
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