Bean is ’Dogs basketball coach
News-Gazette Photo/Andrew Sullivan
Celebration Coach Jeff Bean is taking over St. Cloud’s boys basketball program after Johnnie Jenkins stepped down as the Bulldogs coach recently.
Ex-Osceola player led Celebration for 9 years
By Rick Pedone
Celebration High’s loss is St. Cloud’s gain.
Boys basketball Coach Jeff Bean will leave the Storm after nine seasons to take over St.
St. Cloud Coach Johnnie Jenkins recently told Athletic Director Mike Hague that he was resigning after three seasons for personal reasons.
Hague said that he and Principal Nathan Fancher believe that Bean is the best candidate to replace Jenkins.
“I fully understand and will miss Johnnie’s dedication and hard work he put into the boys basketball program,” Hague said. “Mr. Fancher and I are continuing to fill our coaching positions with personnel that want to be at St. Cloud High for the long haul and become an integral part of this outstanding community of youth programs. Mr. Fancher and I have great confidence that Coach Bean will be a perfect fit toward building a basketball program that St. Cloud High will be proud of.”
Bean said he is looking forward to developing a Bulldogs program that has struggled since reaching the playoffs as a district runner-up during Jenkins’ first season.
“I live in St. Cloud, and I have children in the athletic program,” he said.
Ironically, Bean played basketball for Coach Ed Kershner at Osceola High and was a member of the school’s 1983 championship team.
“Yeah, it’s a little like going over to the other side. But I’ve always had a lot of respect for St. Cloud’s program and for the philosophy they have there. I’m looking forward to getting in there and seeing what I can do to build a strong program,” he said.
Bean will finish the school year at Celebration, but he plans to run an open gym at St. Cloud soon.
“It’s going to take some time. There is some good, young talent at St. Cloud, but we have to begin a developmental program to have sustained success,” he said.
Celebration reached the Class 7A regional playoffs and won the Orange Belt Conference championship under Bean during the 2012-13 season.
“There are great people I’ve worked with at Celebration and I’m going to miss them, and they have some promising talent returning next year,” he said.
Bean compiled an 84-117 record at Celebration after taking over for Beltran Munoz, now the Storm’s girls basketball coach. The team was 17-9 last season, reaching the 7A-5 district semifinals.
“It took time to get where we wanted (at Celebration). St. Cloud already has the pieces in place, a strong athletic program. Hopefully we can build to a point to take it to the next step,” Bean said.
Celebration Athletic Director Chris Lavoie said he and Principal Mytron Lisby would work quickly to fill the basketball vacancy.
“We are hoping to make the announcement on the new coach as soon as possible,” he said.