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Bennett began his collegiate coaching career at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he won 173 games. He was named NAIA Coach of the Year after leading the Pointers to a 28-4 record and national runner-up finish in 1984. In 1985, Bennett moved to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Bennett took the Phoenix to the second round of the NIT tournament in 1990 and led the team to its first NCAA tournament berth in 1991. In 1995, Bennett was named the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
During his tenure at Wisconsin he compiled a record of 94-68. He led the Badgers to the Final Four in 2000. In all, he took Wisconsin to three NCAA tournament appearances and earned one NIT bid. Bennett was the first Wisconsin coach to win 20 games in a season. He retired from the University of Wisconsin in November 2000.
Coach Jack is now the owner and CEO of Close The Gate Hoops. Spanning nearly 6 years, Jack Huml has coached/ trained boys & girls basketball at the youth, high school, and college levels. Jack Huml was privileged to learn how to coach and play the game of basketball by his best friend, late and great father, Tony Huml.
Jack played varsity basketball in high school for Janesville Craig, finishing 3rd in the conference in scoring his senior year. For his freshman year of college, he played in the WIAC conference for UW River Falls. Jack plans on finishing his basketball career at the University of Wisconsin Platteville, also located in the WIAC conference. The WIAC is considered by most to be the toughest conference in division 3 basketball.
“Becoming addicted to work ethic is the number one reason I have been able to accomplish everything I have at a relatively young age. My father instilled in me that nothing was ever going to be handed to me. He always used to say DYBFTR before he dropped us off from school. This stands for, “Do your best and forget the rest.” You’ll never meet somebody that says they don’t work hard. You have to outwork everyone’s standard of work ethic. Regret is something I know I will never have to live with. I maximize each day by living DYBFTR.
The number one principle a CTG student must master is the ability to chase failure. The majority of us are taught through society that failing is never a good thing. If you truly want to achieve whatever your dreams are in life, wanting, craving, and chasing failure is how you are going to get there. When we fail, our brain adapts and learns whatever we couldn’t do. If we fail more, we learn more. If we learn more, we will gain more knowledge.
The more intelligent you are, the better you’ll be at whatever you do in life. If you recognize yourself shying away from failure, just remember that you are getting farther and farther away from your hopes and dreams. You can conquer and achieve anything you want in this world through chasing failure. It’s only impossible until someone does it, so go out there and do it.”
Tony Huml is the Founder and President of Close The Gate Hoops, Co-Founder of Janesville Basketball Association, Founder of Local Vision TV, a former Social Studies Teacher, Forward Janesville’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a 2017 Janesville Hall of Fame Inductee.
Tony attended Harrison Elementary School for kindergarten, then grades 1-8 at St Mary’s School in Janesville. He went to Marshall Jr. High, then graduated from Craig High School with the Class of 1988.
Throughout school, Tony developed a passion for basketball. He was thankful to all the excellent, influential coaches, who encouraged him, keeping him engaged. They were Dennis Gallagher, Jim Bohlman, Ralph Eckert, David Martinson, and Bob Suter, assisted by Tom Neuenschwander. Coaches Suter and Neuenschwander became lifelong friends and mentors to Tony. Eventually, Coach Suter became an assistant coach for Craig’s Varsity team and coached Tony’s son, Jack, who had his own successful high school basketball career. Jack graduated in 2019 and now plays for the University of Wisconsin – River Falls Falcons.
Through the guidance of his coaches, Tony learned the value of we over me, and that the team is more important than any individual, a concept that would transfer later in life to Tony’s classroom, workplace, and relationships.
Tony continued playing basketball in college, winning the Wisconsin Junior College State Championship as a member of Coach Dave Gibbs U-Rock Unicorns. He was then recruited to play at the University of Minnesota – Morris.
Pat Miller was named head coach of the Warhawks prior to the 2001-02 season. He enters his 20th year at the helm of the program in 2020-21.
Entering the 2018-19 season, Miller ranked fourth all-time in winning percentage among coaches with a minimum of 10 seasons coaching at the NCAA D-III level and fifth among active Division III coaches.
A four-time Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Miller has led the Warhawks to two NCAA Division III national championships.
In 2011-12, UW-Whitewater won its first national title since 1989, when Miller was a co-captain and the Warhawks’ third-leading scorer. The 2011-12 team finished 29-4 overall and 13-3 in the WIAC, winning its NCAA Tournament games by an average margin of over 14 points per contest.
Two years later, in 2013-14, UW-Whitewater won the championship with overall and conference records identical to those in 2011-12. The Warhawks were dominant through their first five games of the NCAA Tournament before defeating Williams (Mass.) in a thrilling national title game, 75-73. Quardell Young’s lay-up and free throw with one second remaining was the deciding play of the contest.
Overall, Miller has led the Warhawks to six WIAC regular season championships, four league tournament titles and nine NCAA Tournament appearances. His winning percentage through the 2018-19 season (.758) ranks first all time at UW-Whitewater and fourth all time in WIAC history for coaches with 10 or more years of experience at a conference school behind only Bo Ryan, Ken Anderson and Bob Semling. Miller has the most wins of any current head coach and is fourth in the conference’s history. He achieved his 100th win during the 2005-06 season and was the second-fastest coach in WIAC history to do so.
Throughout Coach Connor’s life passion has always been sports. Connor attended Janesville Craig and graduated in the year 2020. He was a three-sport athlete in baseball, basketball, and football in high school. Handling three sports grew Connor’s work ethic leading him towards success with athletics and academics. Connor now attends the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse, where he is pursuing his major and career in sports management. In the 2021 season, Connor assisted and helped coach the Janesville Craig’s varsity men’s basketball team.
“Coach Jack has been one of my best friends since a young age. Working on the business side of Close The Gate is interesting, I do everything behind the scenes that most wouldn’t think or see.
My experience with CTG has been extremely eye-opening from a training and coaching perspective as well. You think you know how you’re supposed to coach and train, and then you watch how CTG explains the game to kids. Close The Gate is something that would’ve changed the outlook of my sports and personal life if I was exposed to it at a young age. Developing not only basketball skills but life skills as well is so beneficial to young kids.
That is where CTG stands apart from the rest. Coach Jack will do everything in his power to get his students to his goals, but he wants to make them better people over everything.”
Coach Aaron was a three-sport athlete in high school and a lifelong friend of Coach Jack. Aaron participated in basketball, track, and cross country. He was second-team all-conference in both basketball and cross country his senior year. He also qualified for the state cross country meet and was the runner-up at the WIAA state track meet in the 800m. Aaron is attending UW-La Crosse. His major is undecided but is leaning towards something in the teaching realm.
“Training for Close The Gate Hoops has truly transformed me as a person. I truly enjoy creating relationships with my students and having a real impact on their lives. My goal with Close the Gate is to make all of my students better people and show them everything I would’ve done differently growing up as a player.
I am planning on pursuing a degree in education, and Close the Gate is the perfect opportunity to gain experience for this. Close the Gate has certainly changed my life, and I believe anyone that comes in contact with it will be changed for the better as well.”