Mike Winters may return to NIC-10 as Harlem coach
MACHESNEY PARK - Mike Winters, who is believed to be the only coach in NIC-10 history to coach two different teams to boys basketball conference championships, confirmed on Facebook that he's in line to try to coach another to a NIC-10 title.
Winters confirmed on Facebook that his appointment as head basketball coach at Harlem is on the District 122 agenda Monday night. He cautioned though "to date we do not have a teaching position lined up" and that "it will be very difficult to do one without the other."
It is the latest interesting move by Winters, who has made the rounds of the Rock River Valley. He coached at Oregon for two years, winning a regional title, before moving over to Rockford Jefferson. His J-Hawks won the NIC-9 in the 2003-2004 season before leading Jefferson to fourth in the state in the 2004-2005 season.
From there, he headed south again, winning two regional titles and 113 games in five seasons at Rock Falls. Winters stepped down from that job only to step into a dream situation a year later, being tabbed in 2011 to replace Steve Goers at Boylan after Goers retired after winning 26 conference titles. In five years at Boylan, he won a regional and sectional title and his 2015-2016 team won the NIC-10 title with a perfect 16-0 record.
Winters surprised again, walking away from the Titans after 2016 to spend more time with his family and finish a Master's degree. On Facebook, he said he is a week short of completing the Masters.
If Winters ends up taking over the Huskies, it will be his greatest challenge. Harlem has never won a NIC-10 basketball title. The Huskies have won 20 games in a season just twice - 1974-1975 and 1993-1994 - since entering the NIC-10 back in the early 1960s. Harlem has produced a handful of outstanding players - from two-time scoring champions Mike Floyd and Rob Ferger, to Northern Illinois University star Mike Hidden and current European professional player Eric Palm but has never had any sustained success.
This past season, the Huskies were 2-14 in conference play and 7-22 overall and graduated its best player, Allen White III.
Mike Winters coaching record:
Year, School, Record, Accomplishments
2001-2002, Oregon, 22-6, regional title
2002-2003, Oregon, 17-12
2003-2004, Jefferson, 21-6, NIC-9 champion
2004-2005, Jefferson, 23-10, 4th in IHSA state tournament
2005-2006, Rock Falls, 30-3, regional, sectional champions
2006-2007, Rock Falls, 27-4, regional champions
2007-2008, Rock Falls, 19-10
2008-2009, Rock Falls, 18-11
2009-2010, Rock Falls, 19-10
2011-2012, Boylan, 16-11
2012-2013, Boylan, 22-9, regional, sectional champions
2013-2014, Boylan, 20-8
2014-2015, Boylan, 19-9
2015-2016, Boylan, 31-3, NIC-10 champions