Jon Tropf Named Goshen College Men’s Basketball Interim Head Coach
Three-year assistant tapped as Young moves to Georgia school
GOSHEN, Ind. — Goshen College has named Jon Tropf the interim head coach of its men’s basketball program, the Maple Leafs announced Monday.
Tropf, a Maple Leaf assistant for the past three seasons who was promoted to associate head coach in 2016, is a 2012 graduate of Eastern Michigan University who spent two seasons as a graduate manager at Oakland University. He also serves as coordinator of the Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center on the GC campus.
Tropf replaces head men’s basketball coach Neal Young, who has resigned to assume the same position at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
The Maple Leaf head coach since 2013, Young accumulated a 49-74 record in four seasons at GC. His most successful season came in 2015-16, when his team posted the third-most wins in program history with a 19-13 mark and became the second men’s basketball team in 46 years to win 10 or more conference games.
“We are thankful for the years as both an assistant and head coach that Neal invested into the lives of our student-athletes and in growing our men’s basketball program,” said athletic director Josh Gleason. “We wish him and his family well as they transition into the next step in their lives together.”
“Jon has been a valuable member of our team in a variety of roles the last few years,” Gleason continued. “He brings an intense passion for the game of basketball and for developing student-athletes both on and off the court. We are very pleased that he has agreed to step into this leadership role and offer continuity to our student-athletes, most whom he was instrumental in recruiting.”
“I am extremely honored and blessed by this opportunity,” Tropf said. “I want to thank Josh Gleason for entrusting me with this task during this time of change. This is literally a dream come true. I not only want to wish Coach Young and his family the best at Covenant, I also want to thank him. His leadership and passion for discipleship put this program on a trajectory for success. I have no doubt he’ll do great things there, and I hope to continue to build on what he got started here.”
“I know I am leaving our program in extremely capable hands with Jon assuming head coaching duties,” Young said. “I like to say that whatever impact people think he has had, I guarantee you his actual impact has been greater. Jon is humble, passionate and committed to the culture of discipleship that we have cultivated for our coaching staff. His knowledge of the game exceeds his age and he can flat out recruit. I have no doubts he will lead this program to the next level of success and I am excited to continue to follow Maple Leaf basketball from Georgia.”
As a player at Van Buren High School in Ohio, Tropf reached the quarterfinals of consecutive state basketball tournaments in 2007 and 2008. Tropf graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Michigan with a B.A. in history and received an M.A. in history at Oakland, where he was active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
He has also spent summers as an AAU coach of seventh- and ninth-graders for the Western Washtenaw Basketball Association (2010-11) and running summer camps for inner-city boys through Team Focus USA (2011-12). Since arriving at Goshen in 2014, he has also served as a member of the Maple Leafs’ game day operations staff for baseball, soccer and softball.
“I would like to sincerely thank everyone who played a role in my time here at Goshen,” Young concluded. “Specifically, I would like to thank former head coach Gary Chupp for hiring me as an assistant. Thank you to former athletic director Tim Demant for giving me my first chance to lead a program. Thank you to all of my former assistants for their hard work and sacrifices to help raise the level of this program. Thanks to my wife, Maggie. Without her love, support and willingness to sacrifice I could not do what I love. Finally, I would like to thank my players. Ultimately it was their sweat and their buy-in to me that allowed us to experience the success that we had.”
The opening of the 2017-18 season is less than two months away for the Maple Leafs, who tip off with a home game against Lawrence Technological University on October 24. Tropf will welcome back a roster that includes 11 returning letterwinners and 54 percent of its scoring from a season ago.