Kokomo High School on Monday hired former Hamilton Heights and Indiana Tech standout player Haley Cook-Peckinpaugh as its new girls basketball coach. She replaces Tod Windlan, who left the Kats after one season to become Sheridan’s boys coach.
“We are very pleased to welcome Haley to Kokomo High School because she exudes a passion and enthusiasm that I believe will bring out the best in those around her,” Kokomo athletic director Nick Sale said in a statement. “Haley’s focus on consistency and servant leadership, as well as her college coaching experience and connections, will serve our student athletes well. [She] already has begun developing program goals, principles and a development philosophy.
“We are excited to see where our Lady Wildkats basketball program can go with Haley’s leadership.”
Cook-Peckinpaugh, who will serve as a high school PE teacher, spent the past two seasons at Noblesville where she was a varsity assistant. Prior to that, she spent a year at Bethany (W.Va.) College where she was an assistant.
Cook-Peckinpaugh was no stranger to success as a player. At Hamilton Heights, she helped the Huskies finish as 2013 Class 3A state runners-up. Coincidentally, Windlan coached that team. At Indiana Tech, Cook-Peckinpaugh was the 2017-18 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Player of the Year and an NAIA first team All-American. She was a third-team All-American the season before and a first-team Academic All-American both seasons.
“Legacy is important to me … when I was growing up and playing high school basketball, the Kokomo girls basketball program was among the most respected in the State of Indiana,” she said in a statement. “My long-range goal is to re-establish that same type of feeder system and bring Kokomo back to those glory days.
“Kokomo has always been known as a basketball town with outstanding and knowledgeable fans who respect both girls and boys basketball. I am looking forward to coaching in Memorial Gym since that is definitely one of the best basketball venues in the State of Indiana.”
Cook-Peckinpaugh’s husband, John Peckinpaugh, is heading into his second season as Noblesville’s boys coach. He played at Muncie Central.
Kokomo’s girls program is in need of stability. Cook-Peckinpaugh becomes the fifth different coach since Jason Snyder stepped down following the 2013-14 season. The Kats went 4-19 last season, their third straight losing season.
“I have no desire, nor any plans, to leave Kokomo,” Cook-Peckinpaugh said. “Our families live in north central Indiana. We both have long-term goals for our programs. Rebuilding the feeder program in Kokomo will take time, but at the same time, I am excited now because I know we have some outstanding young talent already playing in the Kokomo system.”