Boys Basketball: Tanner Mitchell tabbed to lead Hinsdale South on hardwood

Tanner Mitchell has been looking forward to getting a chance to run his own basketball program, and that day came Tuesday, as Mitchell was named boys basketball head coach at Hinsdale South.

Mitchell, a freshman coach at Lemont, was approved by the District 86 school board Monday night. He’ll begin teaching and coaching at Hinsdale South in the 2012-13 school year. Mitchell also will teach special education at the Darien school.

Mitchell, 34, played three varsity seasons for Sandburg before graduating in 1996. He played college basketball at Carthage, in Kenosha, Wis.

“I grew up around the Orland Park, Homer Glen area,” Mitchell said. “Hinsdale is a great district, and the teacher-coaching combination is something you’d love to get into.”

Mitchell, a Lockport resident, replaces Vince Doran, who was dismissed after leading the Hornets to a 15-12 overall record (6-6 WSC Gold) last season.

Mitchell has coached for more than 10 years at various levels, but will coach varsity basketball for the first time. He was the varsity assistant coach at his alma mater from 2003-06. He has been with Lemont coach Rick Runaas’ program for the past three seasons. Mitchell’s first job out of college was coaching Lemont’s sophomores in the 2001-02 season.

“It’s always been a professional goal of mine, having my own program,” Mitchell said. “After a few years, I think I have the experience needed to take over my own program.”

Mitchell plans on meeting the team’s returning players soon, and will discuss future summer plans with Hinsdale South athletic officials. In the past, Hinsdale South hosted a summer league for area high school teams.

“It was the perfect storm. Everything is right,” Mitchell said. “They had a teaching opening, a varsity basketball position — and I live right down the road.”

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