York Catholic grad Jon Showers begins next step on his college basketball coaching journey

York Catholic graduate Jon Showers, right, takes over as an assistant coach at DeSales University after five years in the same role with the York College men's basketball team.
  • Jon Showers takes over as an assistant coach at DeSales University.
  • York College coach Matt Hunter served in the same role previously.
  • Showers spent five years on the Spartans' staff.

Jon Showers wan't searching for a new job in April when he heard about a potential opening that piqued his interest. 

The York Catholic High School graduate was set to begin his sixth season as an assistant with the York College men's basketball team when an opportunity popped up that he knew he had to entertain.

The assistant coach at NCAA Division III DeSales University left to become a high school head coach and Showers knew the job would offer him a better chance at reaching his ultimate goal — becoming a head coach at the NCAA level.

DeSales head coach Scott Coval is also the university's athletic director, which presents Showers with a chance to take on more head coaching responsibilities and he hopes to land a head coaching position in the near future. So, Showers applied and the hire was made official on Aug. 15.

“I wouldn’t say I was necessarily looking to move. I loved it at York,” Showers said. “This position just made too much sense to pass up, so I went for it and was lucky enough to get it. I think any assistant coach wants to be a head coach, that’s the natural progression in college. It gives me the best chance to keep preparing myself to become a head coach soon.”

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Help from Hunter: Showers didn't have to search long for an example of a DeSales assistant under Coval who became a head coach. York College men's basketball head coach Matt Hunter served as an assistant to Coval for four years before he took over the Spartans program.

Jon Showers, left, talks with York College men's basketball coach Matt Hunter during a game.

Hunter helped Showers get the DeSales position and Showers said his former coaching partner was instrumental in the process and gave him a lot of information on how Coval runs the  Bulldogs' program.

“He kind of gave me a lot of the ins and outs before I left,” Showers said. “Coach Hunter is great. He helped me get the position.”

Knowledge of the DeSales program: In addition to the knowledge and connections he gained from Hunter, Showers is also close with a few of the Bulldogs players.

While serving as a coach in the York Ballers AAU program, Showers got to know DeSales players Matt Kachelries, Timmy Edwards and Keba Mitchell. The trio of players even helped Showers move into his new apartment in Allentown.

“Having that familiarity, especially in these times where we can’t really work with them until October, just kind of knowing their games and already knowing them a little bit is a huge advantage to slide into this position," Showers said.

Jon Showers, back left, looks on as former York Ballers AAU coach Pat McGlynn talks to players during practice. Showers built relationships with current DeSales University players while he coached with the York Ballers.

Hard to say goodbye: For Showers, saying goodbye to the Spartans players he recruited and coached was difficult.

Showers has been instrumental in the Spartans' recent success, which includes at least 22 wins in each of the last three seasons. York went 96-44 overall in Showers' five years with the team.

Showers said the players understood his decision and he plans to keep in contact with them going forward.

“It was extremely tough,” Showers said. “Being at York for five years I got to know all the kids on the current roster (and) all their families. It was tough. Leaving those guys was really hard, but at the same time I’m not gone forever. I’m still going to follow what they do and hopefully we become lifelong friends.”

Jon Showers, left, takes over as the assistant men's basketball coach at DeSales University.

More involved on the floor: In his new role, Showers anticipates that he will be more involved on the floor, while continuing to focus on recruiting, which he has done since his coaching career began at Millersville University in 2011. He is already working on adding players to the next Bulldogs class, despite a unusual sports summer because of COVID-19.

While he will miss the Spartans program, it was time for Showers to make a move to reach his ultimate goal. With a new gig and a clearer path to his dream of being a college coach, Showers is ready to take on the new challenge.

“I’m just excited for the new journey, new opportunity and can’t wait for us to get on the court,” Showers said. 

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.