JIM HUNSLEY: Bush embraces the college game at PNC

2012-11-14T18:30:00Z 2012-11-14T18:43:06Z JIM HUNSLEY: Bush embraces the college game at PNCJim Hunsley Times Columnist nwitimes.com
November 14, 2012 6:30 pm  • 

Matt Bush doesn't mince words. He's a confident guy who's sure of his abilities as a basketball coach.

During his interview for the men's basketball position at Purdue North Central, he was asked why the school should hire him.

"I don't mean to be arrogant," Bush said, "but I should've probably been doing this for a long time."

Bush coached high school basketball at Morgan Township for 24 years in two stints. His teams won six sectional titles, two regional crowns and made four elite eight appearances.

After family health issues forced Panthers coach Jim Black to step down after two games, Bush was named the head coach at PNC. A day later, the team won its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener. He's 1-1 in two games.

"This is always something I wanted to do," Bush said. "I needed to try something different."

Bush stepped down as head coach of the Cherokees this past offseason. Bush said he wasn't fired, but he felt like he needed to leave.

"It wasn't the situation it once was or what I wanted," Bush said.

He still teaches at Morgan Township, and he was reluctant to delve into the situation any further.

I've known Matt for several years. He's very passionate about his job as a basketball coach. Now he gets a chance to expand his horizons. For the first time in his coaching career, he will be recruiting. He doesn't seem worried about this new venture.

"I feel like I can get kids to come to our school," Bush said. "I played college basketball, and I had two kids that played. I know what it's like."

He's also from the area, so he's familiar with several coaches in the area. They might also be able to vouch for his abilities as a coach.

Bush isn't worried about the transition.

"Obviously, the players are faster, bigger and stronger," Bush said. ""Basketball is still basketball, Xs and Os."

Strangely enough, Bush isn't the first family member to coach in college. Son Matty Bush joined the staff at St. Joseph's College in September of 2009. The elder Bush doesn't feel beaten to the punch.

"It's something he has wanted to do. He coached in high school in one year, but he really loved the college game," Matt Bush said. "I did get one on him. His phone message says, 'Matty Bush, assistant basketball coach at St. Joseph's College.' When I called to tell him about my job, I said, 'This is Matt Bush, HEAD coach at PNC.'"

The elder Bush kids. He's ecstatic that both he and his son are college coaches, and he's looking forward to joining Matty at recruiting events.

He's 57 -- and the elder Bush plans on doing this for a while. I'm just happy to see him back on the bench.


This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at jim.hunsley@nwi.com.

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