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Coach Sparks

Head Coach John Sparks

Coach Sparks begins his eighth season at Shawnee Community College, after finishing 15-15 in the highly competitive Mid-West Athletic Conference. Returning only two sophomores and a handful of very talented freshmen, the Saints look to improve on last seasons record. D.D. Gillespie and Kyle Williamson saw major playing time as freshmen, combining for nearly twenty points per game.

Last seasons team finished with a .500 record (15-15), and worked hard on and off the floor. Three of the five sophomores from last year's team are continuing their education and playing career at four year universities. Brandon Anderson signed with Indiana University Southeast; Garrett Stone signed with Brescia University; and Sylvester Sipp signed with Lambath University. NJCAA Academic All-American Chris Needham is continuing his education at Southeast Missouri State.

Coach Sparks has helped over thirty kids in the last eight years realize their dream of playing at the next level. From NAIA institutions to Division I colleges and universities, Coach Sparks and Shawnee Community College have been preparing student athletes on and off the floor to be successful at the next level.

Coach Sparks places a great deal of emphasis on academics, community involvement, and hard work. The men's basketball program has helped place 23 student-athletes at the next level. They have also graduated 19 student athletes since Coach Sparks first season in 2003-04.

4 NJCAA Academic All-Americans
2004-05 Region 24 Runner-Up
2 NJCAA Pre-Season All-Americans
12 All-Region / All-Conference Selections
More than 20+ Student-Athletes that have moved on to play at four year universities.

Assistant Coach Carl Johnson:
Coach Johnson A native of Metropolis, IL and a graduate of Murray State University with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education, this is Coach Johnson's third season as the Saint's Assistant Coach. Johnson is a Probation Officer in the First Judicial Circuit of Illinois. Coach Johnson spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Massac County High School with the Lady Patriots. During his tenure, the team had two Elite Eight appearances and a Sweet Sixteen appearance. Additionally, Johnson is an eight-year member of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association as a Region One baseball official. He resides with his wife, Dr. Karen Hill Johnson, who is a communication professor at West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

"Carl has done a great job with our young men and the basketball program. He's a life long friend whom I trust greatly. I know that he wants the best for these young men on and off the court. He is not only an asset to our men's basketball program, but to Shawnee Community College as well." - Coach Sparks

Assistant Coach Carl W. Johnson:
Coach Johnson A native of Metropolis, IL and a 1975 graduate of William Penn University with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education, this is Coach Carl W. Johnson's third season as the Saint's Assistant Coach. In 2004, he was inducted into the William Penn University Athletic Hall of Fame. After working for 33 years as a chemical operator at Honeywell in Metropolis, Johnson retired in 2009. Coach Johnson spent six seasons as the Junior Varsity boy's basketball coach at Christian Fellowship School. Additionally, he was the head baseball coach from 1994-1996. Currently, he coaches the freshman football team at Massac County High School and is the head girl's softball coach at Paducah Tilghman High School. Since 1988, he has overseen the Faith Tabernacle Food Ministry with his wife, Sandy. Carl and Sandy have been married for 38 years, have three children: Carl, Chris, and Crystal (Forthman), and two grandchildren: Hayden and Andrew.

"Carl has been a welcomed addition to our basketball program. He brings a great deal of life experience with him to this position that is very beneficial to all of us. His experience in athletics and working with young men will only enhance our overall mission at Shawnee Community College." - Coach Sparks

Assistant Coach Nick Chaykowsky
Coach Chaykowsky Coach Chaykowsky enters his 1st season at Shawnee Community College under John Sparks and his 28th season as a basketball coach on two different levels.

Prior to Shawnee Community College, Coach "C" worked as a high school head coach for two different tenures from 1996-1999 and 2001-2014. During this time frame, he assisted many former players in receiving college scholarships; coached 8 All-State players, 14 All-Region players and 1 NBA Early Draft Entry. His teams won 3 Region Titles, had 6 Regional Appearances, and were ranked in the state polls while also earning Coach of the Year honors in 1997, 1998 and 2007. He was a member of KABC and Board of Directors for the 2nd Region and was Vice President/Secretary of the 2nd Region Coaches Association.

In the 1994-1995 season, Nick was an assistant basketball coach at Lake City Community College under Rob Wagner. At LCCC, they were Conference Champions, received a NJCAA Regional Tournament bid. He also was named Assistant Coach of the Year in 1995.

From 1992-1994 and 1999-2001, Coach "C" was an assistant basketball coach at Florida College under Rob Wagner and Kenny Moorer. During his time at FC, they received two National Tournament bids and won 20+ games per season. He also received a Special Service Award in 2001.

From 1987-1990 and 1995-1996, Coach Chaykowsky was an assistant basketball coach at University of Tampa under Richard Schmidt. During his time at UT, they were ranked in the NCAA D2 Top 25 and received 4 NCAA Tournament bids including 2 Sweet 16 appearances.

Nick earned his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Tampa in 1992 and his Master's Degree from Nova Southeastern University in 1997. While at Tampa, he lettered in varsity basketball and played in the NCAA tournament in 1986-87.

He lives in Morganfield Kentucky with Trecy his wife of 21 years, son Zack (19) and daughter Cayce (14).

For More Information phone or e-mail:

John Sparks
Basketball Coach

Office: I-2019
Telephone: (618) 634-3230
Fax: (618) 634-3300

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Shawnee Community College • 8364 Shawnee College Road • Ullin, IL 62992 • (618) 634-3200
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