Coach Kraus Inducted into the IBCA Hall Of Fame


Alayna Kraus, Staff Writer

Coach Jon Kraus was recently honored at the IBCA banquet at Redbird Arena on the Illinois State University campus on August 28. The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association is an organization that acknowledges the accomplishments of those it serves. Before retiring in 2021, Kraus coached at Okawville High School as the head men’s basketball coach for 20 seasons with a record of 421-248. During that time, Coach Kraus led his teams to 10 IHSA Regional Championships, 6 Sectional Championships, 2 Super Sectional Championships, and 2 State Tournament appearances. After a heartbreaking runner-up finish in overtime against Effingham St. Anthony in 2017, the Rockets returned in 2018 to earn the State Championship.

I recently had the chance to talk to Coach Kraus regarding his feelings about being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Coach Kraus responded, “It is a nice accomplishment toward the basketball program and shows how the program has been successful for many years.” Kraus said he took time to reflect on all of the players who played for him during his 25 years of coaching. He feels that is what this honor is really about.  He indicated that all of the coaches that have been a part of this program should be a part of this award as well. I asked Coach Kraus what he thought changed the most during his coaching career. He said, “The game itself has changed more than anything. It is much more physical and the weight room is much more important to athletes now more than it ever has been.” One thing Kraus always asked each of his teams was to never let another team outwork them. If they got beat, it was because that team was better, not because they got outworked. He felt that every team who played for him did just that and that’s why he has so much respect for all of those players.