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Ties that bind: Kevin Young and Ingle family have long history together

By Darnell Dickson - | Apr 19, 2024
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New BYU men's basketball coach Kevin Young addresses media members after his introductory news conference at the Marriott Center in Provo on Thursday, April 17, 2024.
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Timpview coach Israel Ingle (left) has an interaction with an official during a 5A boys basketball state tournament game against Salem Hills on Friday, February 24, 2023.


Back in the day, Kevin Young was a tough-as-nails point guard for Clayton State in Georgia.

Young — who was hired by BYU as its new men’s basketball coach this week — had some pretty good battles against Kennesaw State, then led by former Cougar coach Tony Ingle.

Kennesaw State won a Division II national title in 2004 and had to beat Clayton State in the conference championship game to get there.

Young’s coaching resume doesn’t include a lot of BYU connections, but his relationship to Ingle and his family turned out to be a very important one.

Israel Ingle, now the head boys basketball coach at Timpview High School, was a guard on that Kennesaw State team, playing for his late father and competing against Young.

“Clayton State was our big rival,” Israel Ingle said. “Kevin and I were the only two LDS players in the conference, so we knew each other. Kevin’s brother, Justin, he’s a big recruiting guy now but he was in the sports information department at Kennesaw State when I was playing there. We knew the whole Young family and they’re awesome. There was a total mutual respect between us and the Youngs.

“Kevin is such a competitor. My dad hated coaching against him but loved him because he was so tough. He’s an ‘aw, shucks’ kind of guy but when that ball goes up, he’ll fight you to win. My dad really respected him.”

So much so, in fact, that Tony Ingle called former Utah Valley head coach Dick Hunsaker a few years later to see if there was a spot for Young, then just in the first stages of his coaching career, on his staff.

Young was trying to move west and ended up coaching in a volunteer capacity for Hunsaker during the 2005-06 season when the Wolverines were transitioning from junior college to Division I. After a stop in the Ireland Super League with Shamrock Rovers Hoops, Young caught on with the D-League Utah Flash in Orem. Young was an assistant and then a head coach for the Flash, which eventually led to his long career as an assistant coach in the NBA.

The Ingle-Young relationship endures.

“I just texted Izzy (Israel Ingle) before I got on the plane to come here,” Young said after his introductory news conference on Thursday. “It’s a small world. Tony coached Kennesaw State and they recruited me a little bit. Ultimately, I went to the crosstown rival on the south side of Atlanta. We actually played them in the conference championship the year they won the Division II national championship. It was the most exciting, boring game of all time. It was like 40-31 or something like that. It was a crazy dogfight type of game.

“So I’ve known Tony and his boys forever. He was obviously a great guy and a great coach. I really wanted to move out west and Tony reached out to Dick Hunsaker for me all those years ago. It’s crazy how things kind of come full circle.”

Spending time coaching in the Utah Valley was productive for Young, who met his wife, Melissa, while living in BYU housing. At his news conference, Young mentioned going to watch Jimmer Fredette play against Wake Forest in the Marriott Center in 2008. The No. 6 Demon Deacons, led by future NBA guard Jeff Teague who scored 30 points, claimed a 94-87 victory to end the Cougars 53-game home winning streak. Fredette, then a sophomore, scored 23 points and dished out nine assists.

Israel Ingle, who also coached in Georgia at Gordon College before moving to Utah in 2014, watched Young’s introductory news conference with great interest.

“I can feel for Kevin coaching so long at that high level,” he said. “The NBA lifestyle is brutal. Coming to BYU, he’ll be able to coach the game he loves, help people and be a good coach and mentor. But he can also take care of his family. The NBA is a tough place to do that.

“What I love about Kevin, he’s just a really good guy. He’s not fake or flamboyant. His sincerity came through in the press conference. He’s seen basketball at all levels. He coached at a Division III junior college (Oxford College in Georgia). Some people don’t even know that level exists and if you saw some of the gyms they play in, you’d wonder how they do it. He just kept climbing to get where he is. That’s why he’s been successful everywhere he’s been. He’s a sincere and trustworthy guy. He’s going to outwork people but he doesn’t have to tell you that. He’s just going to do it.”

Young will continue in his role as the associate head coach for the Phoenix Suns for the duration of their run in the NBA playoffs while keeping his phone handy to solidify a coaching staff and roster stability.

“Obviously it’s a big change from what I’ve been doing but I’m finding a whole lot of energy with the task at hand,” he said. “It’s been fun because I’ve done what I’ve been doing for a long time. So shifting gears and having to learn a whole new system has actually really got me charged up.

“Whatever expectations you have in Year 1, you know you just want to win. We want to get to the NCAA tournament and we want to win a national championship. That’s why I’m here. That’s why the guys want to play and I have yet to see anything with this program that can’t achieve that in terms of the resources that we have.”


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