Charlie Klinefelter sure knows how to cook a killer dish as folks around the Illinois Valley will kindly attest. Now he’s trying to serve up a winning recipe for the boys basketball team at DePue High School.
Klinefelter, aka Chef Charlie, has taken over as head coach of the DePue Little Giants basketball team this season after seven years as an assistant. He knows the role puts him on the burner in more ways than one.
“It is a little different since becoming a head coach because the team’s progress seems to rest on your shoulders a little bit more which means your accountability increases, but it also means that you were given the opportunity to mentor these students to become better students outside the classroom. I’ve always wanted to be a coach of some kind to give back to the sport, and teach kids that what you learn in sports influences us in life.
“I really do love coaching and enjoy seeing kids participate and learn were sports can help them learn more about life.”
Klinefelter played basketball at DePue from 1973-77 under coach Eric Bryant Sr., who was a model of discipline and respect when it came to coaching. He said times have changed some since those days.
“I have found out that coaching is so much different now then when I was in school. Some of the older coaches can remember that discipline was a must and respect for our coaches was demanded where as it seems a little different these days,” he said. “But through the years I have learned to adjust to our younger athletes while still demanding respect.”
Klinefelter honed his basketball game playing for the Regional Navy team based out of central California where competition was stiff, he said.
While he believes he is still best known as Chef Charlie, he said his colleagues let him know that, “I am probably the best dressed coach around.”
He views it having the best of both worlds despite juggling his busy schedule between the gym and the kitchen.
“At times it’s very stressful but my bosses give me the opportunity to shuffle both and I couldn’t make it happen without their support,” he said.
When asked for his special dish in the kitchen, the Chef at Skoogs Steakhouse said, having been afforded the luxury to cook all over the world being in the military and being in California for so many years, “I can honestly say that I have no special dish. I can do everything good.
One thing’s for sure, the team dinners must be pretty tasteful if Chef Charlie has anything to do with it.
Back to you, Joe: What did you think about Russell Sherman’s post game rant after he helped the Seahawks clinch the AFC’s championship. Most would say he was a real idiot, which was my basic conclusion. One does have to take in consideration this was coming from a warrior just minutes coming off the heated ball field with emotions running high. I’m pretty sure, someone like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, would have handled it with a little more class.
Now that was entertainment to see FOX’s Erin Andrews left to babble only, “Back to you, Joe.”
Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at email@example.com.