Smithpeters continuing success at Mizzou

Drew Hawkins, Staff Writer

Harrisburg’s very own Kyle Smithpeters recently accepted a job as an assistant coach at Mizzou. 

Smithpeters played basketball at Harrisburg under his father Randy Smithpeters, also a decorated coach. 

Smithpeters had a humble beginning starting at Southeastern Illinois College where he coached for a season. He then went on to be an assistant coach at John A. Logan until he went to Missouri State for a year in the 2011-2012 season.

After his single season at Missouri State, he returned to John A. Logan as the head coach where he went on to coach for 10 seasons. He had a record of 243-71 as the head coach and a region 24 championship, NJCAA Central District Title. His team even reached the NJCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship. 

Smithpeters success has not gone unnoticed though. He won Coach of the Year eight of the last 10 years of his coaching career in the Grand Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC). 

“Kyle [is the better coach],” Kyle’s father and longtime Harrisburg basketball coach R. Smithpeters said. “I think he is dealing with people who are already stars and he has to deal with that mentality and mold them together. He has a more difficult level to coach because people are so skilled and knowledgeable. If you make a mistake at the college level, you will get burned.”

Kyle’s father can’t help but be proud. 

“I’m very proud of Kyle,” R. Smithpeters said. “He’s done a great job and he’s a good person and that’s always been important to him. To be a good person is important to him, for the players to be good people, and to help them become good people. I think pride is the right word.”

Smithpeters and his family will be relocating closer to Columbia, Missouri, the home of the University of Missouri.

“It’s exciting,” R. Smithpeters said. “I’m happy for Kyle and Carrie. We hate to see them go, but as a parent, it’s part of it. But it’s good. That’s life and it’s exciting.”Smithpeters last 10 years have been successful. In The next 10 years he’s hoping for continued success.

In this business it’s really hard to know but you have to have long term plans and go with the flow,” K. Smithpeters said. “This game is ever-changing, and the coaching side is becoming more important. I would be ecstatic if I was still coaching in ten years. It’s not a business with a lot of longevity. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and for a lot of great coaching. I am hoping to run my own program.”

This job isn’t the first one Smithpeters has been offered, but it is the first one he has taken in a while.

“I think success can go hand in hand with the people you are with and have common interests and goals,” K. Smithpeters said. “I’ve known [Coach Gates] for 15 years. I know he takes his job very seriously and he wants to change kids, on and off the floor. I have had other job opportunities where I didn’t feel it was right. I wanted to stay in Southern Illinois around family and friends.”

Smithpeters has clear goals for his future at Mizzou.

“My job now hasn’t changed,” K. Smithpeters said. “I’ve been an assistant before. I’m lucky to be around Coach Gates and the people he has around him. I am leading young men in the classroom and on the floor. I want to take as much as I can off coach Gate’s plate as possible. To be a good assistant you have to alleviate things off of your boss so he can be a good basketball coach.”