Oswego has turned to longtime varsity assistant Matt Borrowman to replace Kevin Schnable as head basketball coach for the coming season.
“I would not be here if it were not for Kevin,” Borrowman said. “He’s one of my best friends and, obviously, my No. 1 mentor. I’d rather be on the sidelines with him, but this is the next best thing.”
Schnable is leaving his alma mater to become a principal of a grade school in nearby Indian Prairie District 204. His appointment there became official last week.
Oswego Athletic Director Darren Howard announced Borrowman’s hiring in a press release Monday.
“Matt has been the OHS assistant varsity coach for the past 10 years and has proven himself to be a strong leader and a solid role model, as well as being a very knowledgeable basketball mind,” Howard said.
“I am very confident he will be a successful head coach in this very rich, tradition-steeped program.”
Borrowman has been involved with the basketball program for all 14 years he has taught in Oswego since graduating from Illinois State.
“I went to Illinois State and a couple of my best buddies there were from Oswego,” said Borrowman, who student taught in Oswego and was hired out of college to teach third grade at the same school.
He grew up on a farm outside the small town of Barry (pop. 1,500), about 20 minutes south of Quincy.
“There were 19 in my graduating class. It’s a co-op school, now,” he said. “We had a town like the one in ‘Hoosiers.’ Everybody in town went to every game. We weren’t very good but everyone followed us around. That’s about all you could do because there’s not much there.”
Borrowman’s wife Jennifer is from Plano. They have two grade school-aged children, a girl and a boy.
“I taught third grade for two years, junior high for eight and I just finished my fourth year teaching math at the high school,” Borrowman said.
He worked as an unpaid volunteer with the basketball program his first two years in the district.
“The third year, I got hired on and here we are, 15 years later,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”
He inherits a young team that featured no senior and just one junior starter last season and went 12-16. It figures to be led again by senior Zach West, who averaged nearly 20 points-per-game.
“I’m excited. It’s a place I call home now. My kids go to school here. I live in Oswego. I love the community and I’m blessed to have a solid group of players to be around, too,” Borrowman said.
“We’re still young. We show our youth at times but we have the talent. We’re just working on growing up, getting more mature. That’s what summer is for, playing a lot of games.”