Get to know Coach Grushkin
Al Grushkin begins his third year as the head coach of Indiana Tech. In his previous two seasons, he has led the Warriors to a record of 45-19, bringing his career coaching record to 140-89.
Grushkin spent two years prior to coming to Tech as an NBA scout for Marty Blake and Associates. In addition to a six year (2000-2006) head coaching stint at the University of Incarnate Word, Grushkin has coached at Arkansas State, UT-San Antonio, Idaho State, Western Illinois, Arkansas, Tulsa and Georgia State as either an assistant or associate head coach.
In his first year with Indiana Tech, Grushkin completed one of the top turnarounds in the country. He led the Warriors to a 22-11 overall record, 11 more wins than the previous season, and a trip to the WHAC Tournament Championship game. The Warriors had four wins over teams ranked in the NAIA Top 25, including a win over the defending NAIA National Champions, St. Francis. In 2010, Tech spent six weeks in the NAIA Coaches Top 25 Poll, ranking as high as 15th.
Grushkin followed that up with another terrific season last year, posting a 23-8 overall record while guiding the team to its first NAIA National Tournament appearance since 2008. Since taking over the program two years ago, the Warriors are 27-7 when playing in the Schaefer Center.
Grushkin, well known for his abilities as a defensive coach, helped turn around Indiana Tech's defense. The Warriors ranked 1st in NAIA Division II in scoring defense per game (58.1), 2nd in total rebound defense (29.6), and 18th in field goal percent defense (0.408) in 2010-11, and second in scoring defense per game (59.3) and ninth in field goal percent defense (0.404) in 2011-12. He also turned around ASU’s defense in two seasons with the Indians. Grushkin helped the Indians move from a 2005-06 No. 9 ranking in the Sun Belt Conference in field goal percentage defense to a No. 3 ranking. Arkansas State's opponent’s shot .420 in 2006-07, down from .450 in 2005-2006, helping them win the Sun Belt during the regular season. Coach Grushkin's defense also swept the future NBA first round pick Courtney Lee-led Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The Indians held 14 opponents to less than 40 percent shooting and five opponents under 35 percent. Coach Grushkin then served as co-interim head coach for the remaining four games of the 2007-2008 season.
Grushkin inherited an Incarnate Word program that was making the move from NAIA to NCAA Division II status and compiled a 94-70 record during his six-year tenure with the Cardinals. His 2001 team finished 25-4, won the Heartland Conference and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals. His 2002 squad compiled a 20-8 record and ranked as high as 20th nationally. Grushkin’s teams finished in the nation’s top 25 in scoring defense every year. During his time at Incarnate Word, Grushkin also served as the NABC Congressman for the Heartland Conference and was a member of the NCAA South Central Regional Advisory Board.
Prior to his arrival at Incarnate Word, Grushkin was an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator at UT-San Antonio from 1997-2000. During his initial year at UTSA, the Roadrunners jumped from the bottom of the Southland Conference standings to a second-place finish and the 1998 team won the Southland Conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He also helped make major improvements in the team’s defense as it finished in the league’s top two in every defensive category during his stay. While at UTSA, Grushkin wrote “Defense With an Attitude”, which was published by Winning Hoops Magazine in 1998.
Grushkin served as the associate head basketball coach and recruiting coordinator at Idaho State University from 1992-97, helping lead the Bengals to the 1993 Big Sky title, their first in 17 years. The 1994 Idaho State team received votes in the national Top-25 polls and at one time had the nation’s 12th best record, 15th best scoring margin and seventh longest home winning streak. Five of Grushkin’s signees went on to play professionally at some level.
From 1987-92, Grushkin was a member of the Western Illinois coaching staff as an assistant and the recruiting coordinator. Grushkin’s major responsibility was to implement the team's defense. His article entitled "Multiple Zone Offense" would go on to be published in NABC Magazine during his last season at Western. While Grushkin was at WIU, the Leathernecks had four signees that received all-conference recognition and had recruiting classes that were ranked as the Mid-Continent Conference’s best by Van Coleman’s Future Stars and the Chicago Windy City Review.
While an assistant coach at Arkansas from 1985-87, Grushkin was primarily responsible for scouting, academics, scheduling and conditioning, but also assisted in the Razorback's defensive game plan in victories over nationally-ranked Kansas and Ohio State. He was part of the coaching staff that put together a style of defense that was known as "40 Minutes of Hell" and he later appeared in the documentary "40 Minutes of Hell" on ESPN.
During his tenure at Tulsa (1985-87) as an assistant coach, the Golden Hurricane posted a 50-12 record and were a national top-10 team, won two Missouri Valley Conference championships and made two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Grushkin made his first collegiate stop at Georgia State, where he was an assistant coach from 1981-83. He was also the head basketball coach at Bishop Byrne High School in Memphis, TN from 1979-81, posting a two-year mark of 40-25 while leading the school to back-to-back playoff appearances.
Grushkin earned his bachelor’s degree from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1975 and his masters degree from Georgia State in 1982.
Al and his wife, Debbie, have one daughter, Michelle, and one son, Michael. Michelle is a CPA in San Antonio, Texas. Michael is a graduate assistant men's basketball coach at NCAA DII St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.
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John Peckinpaugh begins his first season as an assistant coach for the Warriors in 2012.
Peckinpaugh, a 2012 graduate of IPFW, joins the Warrior staff after playing for the Mastodons for four years under Head Coach Tony Jasick. During his senior season at IPFW, he played and started in all 30 games, and was among the team leaders in assists, steals, and rebounds. He also set career-highs in points in back-to-back games against South Dakota and Valparaiso with 12 and 13 points, respectively.
A native of Muncie, Indiana, Peckinpaugh had a great high school career at Muncie Central playing for Matt Fine and helped lead his team to the conference title in 2007-08. He scored 19 points in the championship game, including a buzzer-beater to defeat 4A #7 Marion. He was an All-NCC performer and a Hoosier Basketball Magazine All-State selection.
“We’re really excited to have John join us,” said Grushkin. “He is known for his strong work ethic so we know we are getting a hard working guy. He is also well known throughout Indiana and we think he’s going to be instrumental in helping us with in-state recruiting.”
Graduate Assistant Coach
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Caleb Dean begins his first season as a graduate assistant coach for the Warriors in 2012.
Caleb Dean is originally from Novi, Michigan where he was the first four-year basketball letter winner in school history. He was a Detroit Free-Press All-State selection as a junior and senior. As a senior, he was named a First Team All-State selection in the BCAM (Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan) poll averaging 19 points and 9 rebounds per game. For his accomplishments while attending Novi, he was inducted into the Novi High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
He continued his basketball career in the state of Texas playing for head coach Ross Hodge at Paris Junior College (2008-09) on a team that finished 26-5 and reached the Region XIV finals before losing in triple overtime. The team was ranked as high as third in the country during the season. Dean later followed Hodge to Midland College for his sophomore year (2009-10) on a Midland team that finished 30-3 and was ranked first in the country for all but two weeks during the year. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player. His teams went 56-8 throughout his first two seasons playing for coach Ross Hodge.
He was one of eight players on the Midland team to move on to the Division I level, continuing to play his final two years at Western Michigan University where he graduated in the spring of 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
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Ryan Whiteleather begins his first season as an assistant coach for the Warriors in 2012.