Sydney Smallbone, head girls’ basketball coach at Saint Joseph High School, has decided to step down to pursue an advanced degree at Notre Dame.
In Smallbone’s two years as head coach, the Indians compiled a 44-8 record and won the State Championship in 2017. Smallbone was the first to win a state championship as both a player and then as a coach, in the history of the IHSAA Girls’ Basketball tournament.
“We were so fortunate to have Sydney lead our girls’ basketball program over the last two years,” said Saint Joseph athletic director Deb Brown. “Her passion for the game and her love of Saint Joe were evident to all. She has taught her players the importance of setting high goals and doing everything possible to improve themselves as players and more importantly, as people. We wish Sydney nothing but the best as she pursues her professional goals.”
"A big thank you to the Saint Joe family and Deb Brown for welcoming me back and allowing me to coach two wonderful seasons,” Smallbone said. “Unfortunately, I have decided to step down and plan to get back into coaching later in life. As a coach, I always preached challenging yourself in positive ways and I feel it is time I do so in my own regards. I will be joining Notre Dame's Executive MBA program this fall and plan to continue growing my career at Whirlpool Corporation. I have no doubt that whoever fills in will do a great job. I will miss working with the girls daily and thank them for being great kids. Once an Indian, always an Indian."
In addition to the two years as the head coach of the Indians, Smallbone spent three years as the head coach of the Lakeshore High School girls’ basketball team. Her five-year record as a head coach is 97-19.
A search for a new coach will begin immediately.