Coaching Spotlight: Kenneth Eboh, The Throws Coach
By Andrew Kevin Pratt
Athletes often say that talent can only take you so far. A great athlete is a combination of practice, talent, execution, and good coaching. Three of those parts are on the athlete. The last one is on someone else entirely.
What makes a good coach is the willingness to make their athletes great.
Whether it be spending extra time after practice to break down film, pointing out critical points in technique, or placing the athlete in the best scenario for them to do great things. Coaching is a serious profession that rarely sees the limelight, unless a superstar athlete comes through the program. However, it is always important to see the merits brought forth.
Since 2013, the Southwestern University Track and Field has been on an upswing push with the throwers.
Last year, then First-Year Will Devine broke the school shot put record, twice, and captured the conference title.
This year, First-Year Tyler Adams broke the school record for both the Hammer throw and Discus. Last weekend, he won the conference championship in Hammer and placed fourth in the discus.
On the women’s side, Maya Adighibe took the conference title in the hammer throw to highlight her junior year. Sophomores Ellie Enis and Kimi Prevost took third place finishes in the Hammer and Shot Put, respectively.
The highlights of these past two years are something that should be looked and praised. However, none of this could be possible without Coach Kenneth Eboh.
Eboh played football at the NCAA Division II level for Northwest Missouri State, where the team won three MIAA Championships and a National Championship in 1999. Before Southwestern, he worked as an assistant football coach at the University of Dubuque and at Hanover College, under now-Southwestern Head Coach Joe Austin. While at Hanover, he coached the track and field teams, where he saw five school records be replaced and lead the team to back-to-back HCAC Championships.
Eboh joined the Pirate’s team initially as the Defensive Line and Recruiting Coordinator for the Southwestern Football team. In his first season there, Eboh was able to coach up All-Conference Selections Justin Broussard (First Team), Alex Tyson (Honorable Mention), and Alex Lee (Honorable Mention). This past year, Broussard and Lee returned to their positions on the conference selections, and have become anchors to the Pirate’s defensive line unit.
However, the majority of Eboh’s success has come as the throws coach for the Pirates. On both the men’s and women’s side, the amount of recent success he claims, comes from the emphasis on practice.
“What has attributed our throwers recent success was a renewed focus at practice,” Coach Kenneth Eboh said. “As a whole, the group is understanding the process of repetition on practice and benefitting greatly from it. They get to see the tangible results of their hard work.”
One of the biggest challenges as a coach that Eboh has faced is the challenges of coaching two sports. To his benefit, football takes place in the fall, while track runs in the spring. However, around March and throughout April, football takes place in spring practices. Like other fall sports, these off-season practices can be crucial to the development of the athletes going into the next season.
“Managing two sports is a matter of balancing my schedule and coaching styles,” Eboh said. “It is fortunate enough to have the time to host multiple practice times during the week, and luckily the practices don’t overlap too much.”
The style of coaching is also something that changes with the sport. “Technically speaking, throwing the hammer, discus, and the shot put is very different from the stance and start of a defensive linemen,” Eboh said. “I vary how I coach according to what and who I am coaching.”
Overall, coaching has been a great experience for Eboh, one that he hopes to continue on for years to come. One of the reasons he became a coach was to helping the athletes on the individual level to make them better. “The most important part about coaching, in my opinion, is getting involved with my student athletes to help them attain their specific goals,” Eboh said.
“To me that is what it means to be a good coach. When the athletes accomplish their goals, no matter what they be, on the field or off, that is how you know a coach did their job.”