In celebrating the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s and Title IX’s 50th Anniversary, the IBCA had media and coaches select the 30 most impactful people in Men's Basketball and the 30 most impactful people in Women's basketball during the last 50 years. We will be highlighting in alphabetical order one person a week from each category who our state selected for the Top 30 over the next 30 weeks, beginning on Thursday, January 20th. 

Week Twenty-Eight (7/28/22)

Robert Smith

Robert Smith
Chicago Simeon High School

At the time of Robert Smith’s induction into the IBCA Hall of Fame in 2020, he had already built an incredible run at Chicago Simeon High School.  His teams at Simeon have won 480 games in 20 years of coaching.  During that time Simeon won 6 state titles, the most in IHSA boys basketball history.  His Wolverines have also finished in the IHSA Final Four on four other occasions.  Coach Smith has won 7 Chicago Public League Titles, 18 regionals, and 13 sectional titles.  Most of his teams have won 20 to 30 plus games a season. This spring Coach Smith announced that the 2022-23 season will be his last.

CLICK HERE for Robert Smith's Audio Biography

 50th Anniversary Title IX

Mike Small
Regional Dominican High School/IBCA

When it comes to Girls’ Basketball in Illinois, you won’t find a more dedicated contributor than Mike Small. The growth and success of Girls’ Basketball in Illinois is connected to his 50 years of service and hard work.  In 1971, Mike created the Girls Chicagoland Basketball League which played by the 5 v.5 rules.  The league became the largest basketball league in the Chicagoland region and lasted for 25 years.  Small also created the first Girls’ All-Star game between the Public League and Catholic League in the Chicagoland area.  At the same time Mike was developing one of the best high school girls’ programs in Illinois at Regina Dominican and finished 3rd in the IHSA State Tournament in 1984.

Coach Small’s leadership in the IBCA was critical in helping establishing IBCA Girls’ All-State and All-Star games.  He also played an important role in helping our best girls’ players, coaches and officials getting nominated for the IBCA Hall of Fame.

In 1989 the Chicago Sun Times recognized Small as the “Founding Father of Girls’ Basketball in the Chicagoland Area”.  Today if you asked our coaches who has had the greatest impact on the success of girls’ basketball in Illinois, they will tell you it’s Mike Small.

CLICK HERE for Mike Small's Audio Biography