Jim Schulte takes over as Newark girls basketball coach
Jim Schulte is the new girls basketball head coach at Newark High, but neither the team nor the school is new to him.
Schulte has served as an assistant coach for the Yellowjackets for the past eight years, four of them under previous head coach Dan Deppe.
“I was so excited to hear that I would be head coach this year,” said Schulte, who has taught at Newark High for nearly a decade as the supervisor of the Jobs for Delaware Graduates program. “I coach because I enjoy the game and watching students grow both athletically and academically.”
Schulte’s coaching career began in Allentown, Pa., in the early 1990s when he led Holy Spirit School to its first Allentown Diocese championship. He went on to serve as an assistant at several high schools in the area before taking over as general manager and head coach of the Allentown Crestettes, a semipro women’s team.
“Having assisted numerous coaches through the years and the last being Dan Deppe, Dan prepped me to take over when he decided to step down,” Schulte said. “All that experience, especially the most recent since times have changed, have prepared me. My coaching will be bringing back the old, but adding in some of the new.”
Schulte played high school basketball for coach Dickie Schmidt, who during his illustrious career would lead Allentown Central Catholic High School’s boys and girls teams to a total of eight Quad A state championships.
“Dickie told me several things,” Schulte recalled. “One – stick to the basics and drill them into your players, and two – get the best coaching staff you can to help you. Any given day at practice, we start with the basics, going through six different stations, reinforcing what needs to be addressed based on the previous game, and adding a little new so as not to overwhelm the players.”
Schulte’s assistant coaches are Sam Valdez, who has been on the coaching staff the past several years; Don Passenant, who coached at Rising Sun High School in Maryland and has more than 30 years of experience; and Kaylah Chambliss, the student-manager of the University of Delaware women’s team.
“Combined, we have over 60 years of experience on the bench, and not many programs can say that,” Schulte pointed out.
Newark has an experienced team on the floor as well. The Yellowjackets are led by tricaptains senior Katie Kinsella senior Janyah Brown and junior Selena Whelan-Postell.
“Katie is a deep-3 threat. When she is on, look out,” Schulte said. “Janayah is our point guard and isn’t afraid to shoot from anywhere and can drive. She’s our leader on the floor. And Selana is my workhorse, always trying to make everyone else better by giving her all.”
Schulte calls junior Tiffany Wiley the team’s “secretary of defense” and she, along with sophomore A.J. Desantis, will patrol the paint.
Newark’s bench is deep and led by part-time starter, junior Dymond Gordon.
“She’s another leader at the point and also my most versatile player,” Schulte said.
Sophomores Gia Pipkin, Tamiyah Knowles and Brianna Espinal, along with freshman Mei Tobin will also see action.
“When I need a defensive stop and a hustler to spark the team, I turn to Gia,” Schulte explained. “Tamiyah is my second enforcer in the middle, Brianna another long-range shooter, and Mei is another spark off the bench.”
Newark (2-4) split its first four games before dropping two straight. Despite the setback, Schulte is optimistic about his team’s abilities.
“My team is young but experienced,” Schulte said. “All returners played varsity at least one year, and I look forward to a successful season. Although we’ll take some lumps, it should be a good season. Our future looks awesome.”
The Newark High girls basketball team has an optimistic outlook under new head coach Jim Schulte.