Indiana University of Kokomo has announced the addition of Tom Church as the head men’s basketball coach beginning with the 2017-2018 season. Throughout his entire coaching career, Church has an impressive history of recruiting, fundraising, and community outreach initiatives.
Church began this intiative in the community of Kokomo by creating the Tom Church Basketball Academy (http://www.tomchurchbasketballacademy.com), to start in the summer of 2017.
Church was most recently the head coach at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind., where for the first time since 2011 the Pumas reached the 2017 Great Lake Valley Conference tournament. Under Church and his high-powered offense, the Pumas broke numerous records and improved their win total every year both overall and in GLVC play. The Pumas also enjoyed one their highest offensive averages in school history at 86.2ppg during the 2016-2017 season.
At SJC, Church has recruited and coached two second team ALL-GLVC players in Cameron Vines (2014 & 2015) and CJ Hardaway (2017). In addition to, transfer forward Kindred Williams was named ALL-GLVC Defensive team following the 2017 Season.
Church had the difficult task of navigating the Pumas during their final season in school history as the college closed operations following the 2017 school year.
Church went to SJC after spending three seasons as the head assistant coach at Florida Southern College. Three seasons (2010-13) at Florida Southern with Church on the staff, the Moccasins were 70-25 with two Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championships in 2012 and 2013. The Moccasins made appearances in the NCAA Tournament all three years and hosted and won the South Regional to advance to the Division II Elite Eight this season.
Prior to Florida Southern, Church spent three years with SJC (2008-10) as an assistant coach. The Pumas held a 53-37 record with two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008 and 2010. In 2010 the Pumas won the Great Lakes Valley Conference North Division and won three straight games as the eighth seed in the Midwest Regional to advance to the Division II Elite Eight.
Church attended Ashland University for four years, where he was twice named to the Academic All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Team and was a team captain as a senior in 2003. He started all but one game that year, averaging 8.9 points and 4.3 rebounds, and was second on the team in both three-pointers and three-point shooting percentage (40-for-105). In his collegiate career, Church made 104 three-point field goals in his career.
He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Education in 2003, and later earned his master's of Education in Administration from Ashland in 2006. Church and his wife Jennifer reside in Kokomo. The couple has two children, Harrison and Evelynn.
Dawson Gore enters his first season as Assistant Coach for Head Coach Tom Church and the Indiana University Kokomo Cougars Men’s Basketball program. Coach Gore spent the 2016-2017 season as the Graduate Assistant at Saint Joseph’s College.
Gore was an integral part of the coaching staff that took the Pumas to a 12-17 record and their first appearance in the GLVC conference tourney since the 2010-2011 season.
Gore attended Saint Joseph’s College for four years, where he was a four-time member of the Academic All-Great Lakes Valley Conference Team and was a team captain in 2016. During his collegiate career, Gore connected on 158 three-point field goals, placing him fifth on the all-time list. Gore also holds the SJC record for three-pointers made in a game when he hit 10 his junior season against Ohio Midwestern. Gore was the winner of the Dan Peter’s Courage Award in the 2013-2014 season, along with GLVC James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Award during the 2015-2016 season.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in 2016, and then his master’s in Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s College in 2017.