Hank Plona enters his second season as an assistant coach for Steve Green's Texan basketball team after serving in a similar role at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, where he helped coach the Warriors to a 23-10 record and an appearance in the Region XI championship game.
At South Plains, Plona will play an integral role in the recruitment of student-athletes as well as assisting with player schedules, academics, and other daily office operations.
Prior to his stint at Indian Hills, Plona served as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith where he was responsible for coaching the post players. Plona also recruited Jake Toupal, a player who would go on to be named the Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year for the 2010-11 season.
A 2007 graduate of Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Plona completed a Masters of Business Administration degree in December, 2011.
May 2011 - Present: Assistant Men's Coach, South Plains College
October 2010 - May 2011: Assistant Men's Coach, Indian Hills CC
June 2009 - September 2010: Assistant Men's Coach, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
June 2007 - May 2009: Graduate Assistant Men's Coach, Providence College
November 2004 - June 2007: Undergraduate Student Manager, Providence College
A former SPC Texan basketball player, Justin Brown enters his second season as an assistant coach at his alma mater and returns to South Plains after a year at Prospectives Charter School in Chicago, Illinois.
The Chicago native helped Prospectives to an undefeated season and a city championship.
Brown played for the Texans from 2005-2007 and helped South
Plains to the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) championship
in the 2006-07 season, the last time the Texans won the conference
championship before the 2011-12 team did so last season.
After SPC, Brown transferred to Southwest Baptist University, an NCAA Division II school located in Bolivar, Missouri where he helped the Bearcats to back-to-back conference championships (2007-08, 2008-09). During the 2009-10 season he began his coaching career, serving as a student-assistant for the Bearcats.
Brown received a Bachelor's degree in Sport Management from Southwest Baptist and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Secondary Education from Lubbock Christian University.
Joe Walker enters his fifth year at South Plains
College. Hired in October, 2008, Walker
came to South Plains College from Texas Tech University where he served as the
Director of Operations for Track and Field and Cross Country for four years.
At SPC he assists with marketing and promotions of the athletic department, handles statistics at basketball games, responds to media requests regarding sports programs, and assists with UIL activities, among other duties assigned by the athletic director.
Additionally, Walker was instrumental in creating and now coordinates the NJCAA Region 5 website and is responsible for communicating with coaches from around the region to gather scores and other information relevant to the schools competing in Region 5.Walker is a 2003 graduate of the University of Arkansas and attained a Masters degree in education from Sul Ross State University in 2011.