WINONA LAKE – Jake Ritchie is ready to keep Lakeland Christian’s boys basketball program moving in the right direction.
After Chris Hohm shepherded the program to some of its biggest moments in program history over a six-year period, Hohm announced he would be taking a two-year teaching opportunity in Tanzania. To replace Hohm, LCA athletic director Tim Yocum announced Thursday morning the hiring of Jake Ritchie.
Ritchie, a Sharpsville, Ind. native, played basketball at Tri Central High School and graduated in 2007. He went on to play at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Ill. Ritchie served as a varsity assistant and JV coach at LCA the last two years under head coach Hohm.
“I have always envisioned myself being on the sidelines as a head coach and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity that Mr. Yocum and Chris gave me to join the staff as an assistant,” Ritchie said. “I feel like Lakeland Christian Academy was the perfect fit for me and my family. I am excited to continue the growth and leadership that Chris Hohm instilled in these kids and pick up right where we left off last season.”
Hohm won 42 games in those six seasons at LCA, but took a one-win team his first team to a 13-win team that won its first-ever IHSAA sectional game in 2018. Hohm guided the Cougars to back-to-back Hoosiers Plains Conference titles in 2018 and 2019.
“Chris and his family are in the process of building financial and prayer support to serve under the mission agency, TeachBeyond,” stated Yocum. “He hopes to be teaching in a Christian school in Tanzania, East Africa this fall. We are indebted to Chris’ leadership and the many solid foundations he built in our boys basketball program. He will be missed.”
Chris Hohm added, “I’m excited for coach Ritchie to take over the program. He has been a great part of the coaching staff and I know he is ready for this opportunity. He has an excellent basketball mind and he will push the boys to reach their potential. It will be fun to watch their success from afar and I’m excited for coach Ritchie to lead the boys spiritually, mentally and physically.”
“Jake has devoted a lot of time into developing individual player abilities and relationships while on our coaching staff and has a good rapport with the players”, chipped in Yocum.
LCA looks to begin competition in a newly expanded Hoosier Plains Conference this fall in all sports. Besides LCA, the HPC will consist of Argos High School, Bethany Christian School, South Bend Career Academy, Elkhart Christian Academy and South Bend Trinity School at Greenlawn.