Ricky Shilts Named Calvin Men’s Basketball Junior Varsity Coach
Monday, June 14, 2010
GRAND RAPIDS - Ricky Shilts has been named junior varsity men’s basketball coach at Calvin College.
In addition to his duties as the coach of the Calvin junior varsity, Shilts will also serve a dual role as an assistant coach with the Calvin men’s varsity.
Shilts replaces former Calvin junior varsity coach Mark Christner who departed this spring to accept the varsity men’s basketball coaching job at Waynesburg University (PA).
A native of Kalamazoo, Shilts is a 2005 Calvin College graduate and was a two-year starter at point guard for the Knights, helping Calvin reach the NCAA III Tournament in 2004 and 2005 with Calvin claiming MIAA Tournament titles both years. As a senior during the 2004-05 season, Shilts helped lead Calvin all the way to the NCAA III Final Four where the Knights placed third.
During his senior year at Calvin, Shilts averaged 10.0 points and 3.3 assists per game while connecting on 41.5 percent (61 of 147) of his three-point field goal attempts and 88.3 percent (68 of 77) of his free throw attempts.
Shilts was graduated from Calvin with an interdisciplinary degree in recreation and communications. He has spent the last five years serving as a varsity assistant boys basketball coach at Grandville Calvin Christian High School underneath former Calvin College standout Ryan Stevens.
“It’s great to have a former player and point guard who learned our system and totally believes in it join our coaching staff,” said Calvin men’s varsity basketball coach Kevin Vande Streek. ” Ricky is very passionate and enthusiastic about the game of basketball and is very personable which our players will take to right away.”
Shilts is the son of longtime Kalamazoo Valley Community College men’s basketball coach and men’s ahtletics director Dick Shilts. Ricky played for his father for two years before transferring to Calvin in time for the 2003-04 academic year.
“Ricky grew up in a coaching family and learned from one of the best in his father,” said Vande Streek. “Because of that background, Ricky understands the work it takes to be successful. We are really excited to have him join our staff.”
The feeling is mutual for Shilts who returns to his alma mater. “I’m really excited about being back in the mix at Calvin,” said Shilts. “I’m already looking forward to the practices in the fall and getting back into the trenches with the guys.”
Shilts will also get the chance to go head-to-head against his father on December 1 when the Calvin men’s junior varsity travels to Kalamazoo Valley Community College for a non-conference game. ““I think we’re both looking forward to it,” said the younger Shilts. “I’ve thought about it a few times already.”
According to Vande Streek, the December 1 matchup between father-and-son will provide a unique experience. “I think that game will be a very cool experience for everyone involved, players included,” said Vande Streek. “It’s pretty rare to have a father and son coach against each other. I think both coaches are already a little anxious about it and also looking forward to it.”
Shilts is currently employed by the Maple Hills Golf Course in Grandville where he serves as a sales representative in the golf equipment store. Also a graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School, Shilts was a standout golfer in high school and later at Kalamazoo Valley Community College where he qualified for the National Junior College Championships. He also played one year of golf at Calvin. As a senior at Kalamazoo Central High School, Shilts was the starting point guard on the boys basketball team that reached the Class A State finals.
Shilts is married to Calvin College graduate Lisa (Jurgens) Shilts. They are the parents of a one-year old son, Brodie.