2016 FHC graduate Jordan George returns to Rangerball as JV Head Coach


Three years ago, Jordan George walked off the basketball court as a player for the last time wearing green and white. That night, Jordan thought his time with Ranger Basketball was over. But he had hope.

That hope is now a reality as Jordan, at the age of 21, has been named the boys basketball junior varsity head coach after serving for two years as the student assistant coach at Hope College.

“It’s extremely exciting and honestly a dream come true,” Jordan said. “I have always had it in the back of my mind, but for it to actually come together is pretty awesome.”

Even before those days Jordan spent playing for FHC basketball, “Rangerball” was a constant presence in his life. When your father is Ken George the former head coach and creator of “Rangerball,” there was no avoiding it.

“First, he was a young boy coming to Ranger games wanting to be a part of it,” George said. “Then there was this whole stage when he was a part of it as a player. All of a sudden he’s going to be coaching in it, which is surreal.”

For twenty-four years, George led FHC basketball. The entirety of Jordan’s life, his father was the head coach of Ranger Basketball. A little over a year ago, George made the decision to step down from his position as head coach. George has, however, continued in his teaching job at FHC. This excites Jordan because he will have his father only a few doors down to consult.

“It’s really cool that my dad is still teaching here,” Jordan said. “The best part is that he’ll be able to see all of my team’s games and still see all of my brother’s games at Hope next year. I’m sure I’ll be in and out of his classroom a lot bouncing ideas off of him.”

Jordan knows that his father will respect his coaching style and trust that he will continue to put his all into the program.

“It’s going to be interesting coaching at FHC after my dad had such a great career here and built the program into what it is now,” Jordan said. “ My dad and I understand that we are going to be different coaches and have slightly different approaches, but I admit that I’ll probably develop a similar style as my dad. I don’t feel too much added pressure because of what my dad did at FHC. He’s always been so supportive of me, and I know that he’ll let me do my own thing and develop my own coaching style.”

The relationship between father and son and the benefit it will have for Jordan as he takes the next step on his coaching journey is seen by the people who have joined Jordan on this journey including Hope head coach Greg Mitchell, whom Jordan has been an assistant for in his time at Hope.

“Jordan will be able to lean on his father as needed as a great source of experience,” Mitchell said. “He has learned so much from him already and that has shaped who he is as a man and a coach. Having his father to bounce ideas off of or seek counsel from will only be an asset as Jordan continues to evolve as a coach.”

That absolute immersion that Jordan has had — he knows what it feels like to be an FHC player and has seen his father serve as the head coach — is what current FHC Rangers head coach, Kyle Carhart, believes will greatly benefit him.

“Jordan grew up immersed in the program from an extremely young age,” Carhart said. “I remember him being around our teams when he was really young and he’s witnessed his dad give his life to the program and has seen the commitment that it takes.”

Carhart spoke fondly of remembering seeing Jordan on the Rangerball court at a very young age when he was a player at FHC and truly believes that there is “no better ambassador for the program than Jordan.”

However, Jordan’s Ranger roots are not the only aspect that will help him flourish as a coach. Carhart said he possesses exceptional people skills which will help him to connect to his players and the rest of the FHC community.

“His ability to connect with people [will be his greatest strength as a coach,]” Carhart said. “It’s something that kind of gets overlooked in terms of coaching, your ability to just have an approachability where you can talk with players so they know that you have their best interest in mind. And I think that that just comes naturally to Jordan, and that’s why he’s going to be a successful coach.”

These sentiments, that his background and his personability will greatly help him, are shared by Mitchell.

“Although Jordan is young, his basketball experience is vast and he has ‘lived the game’ as the son of one of the top high school coaches that West Michigan has ever seen in his dad,” Mitchell said. “He possesses a very high basketball IQ, he is a relentless worker who is always looking to improve upon his knowledge, he genuinely loves the game and obviously is passionate about Rangerball.”

After a year of playing at Hope College, Jordan became an assistant coach who has “earned the respect of our coaching staff as well as the players with his work ethic, organization skills and his ability to relate [to people]” according to Mitchell.

Jordan recognizes some of these traits in himself and believes that his age will be another positive when it comes to connecting with his players.

“I think one of my strengths will be the way that I’m able to relate to the players and connect with them, only being a few years out of high school,” Jordan said.

His youth, however, doesn’t signify a lack of experience or passion. Nor will it hinder him from handling the job of being a coach, student, and student teacher with maturity.

“It’s definitely going to be a busy year with a lot of driving back and forth from Holland – but I’ll be student teaching the second semester and living mostly at home, which will make the transition a lot easier,” Jordan said. “I love the grind of coaching and am just really pumped to get started.”

Jordan is hoping this new job isn’t a short-term experience.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind because Rangerball has been such a big part of my life,” Jordan said, “but I never thought that it would be so soon and while I was still in college. I definitely hope that I can work here for a long time, just because the community and the people here have been so special to me my whole life.”