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Highland’s Shechtman to join Temple University men’s basketball as graduate assistant

Friday, May. 2 | By Jeff Malmgren
Highland boys basketball coach Jake Shechtman will leave to serve as a graduate assistant coach at Temple University. --Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Nostalgia nabbed Jake Shechtman.

After growing up in a Philadelphia suburb and intently watching Pennsylvania college basketball, Shechtman couldn’t pass up an opportunity to join the coaching staff at Temple University.

Highland School’s head boys basketball coach over the past three seasons, Shechtman recently decided to attend Temple as a graduate student next fall and join the Owls men’s basketball team as a graduate assistant.

“It was [too] tough to pass up on, even though I’ll certainly miss Highland,” he said. “To be a part of what I grew up watching is a dream come true – a big time, successful program.”

Temple is one of Pennsylvania's so-called Big 5 colleges with the University of Pennsylvania, LaSalle, Saint Joseph's and Villanova.

“A culture I was enamored with,” said Shechtman, a Wynnewood, Pa. native. “If you grow up as a basketball fan in Philadelphia, the Big 5 is a religion.”

Shechtman said he decided to go to graduate school at Temple largely because of the coaching opportunity.

“Over the last couple years at Highland, I've certainly developed a love and passion for coaching,” he said. “I think anybody who coaches wants to do it at the highest level.”

Shechtman plans to get a master's degree in education. He’ll join a men’s basketball staff led by head coach Fran Dunphy.

“I'm pretty low on totem pole,” Shechtman said. “It’s a lot of film breakdown; a lot of stat keeping. You’re assisting workouts and do a lot of the dirty work.”

Shechtman arrived at Highland in 2010 and served as a boys basketball assistant coach one season under Gary Leake before taking over the head coach position for three seasons. He amassed a 52-26 record as head coach, helping the Hawks claim the 2013 Delaney Athletic Conference regular season co-championship and the 2014 DAC tournament championship.

“Breaking it to the kids and to Coach Leake was not an easy discussion because of how much these people have meant to me,” Shechtman said of leaving Highland. “It's such a great school with great people.”

The Highland boys basketball team was his first coaching job after graduating from Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), where he played every basketball game in his four years for the Division III school and was a top 3-point shooter.

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Drew Miller hired as new Highland boys hoops coach

By Peter Brewington

Former Lynchburg College men's basketball coach Drew Miller will replace Jake Shechtman as Highland School boys basketball coach.

Miller, 41, coached Lynchburg College in 2002-03 and later was head coach at Schreiner University (Texas) from 2007-2012. He also was an assistant coach at Southwestern University (Texas), and Trinity University (Texas).

"It's a great opportunity for me as a coach to establish a whole program and build it," said Miller, who was a four-year starter at shooting guard for Kenyon University from 1991-95 and played briefly in Denmark from 1999-2000. He also played semi-pro baseball for the Addison (Ill.) Braves.

Miller and his wife Jennifer have two small children and are looking to relocate closer to Warrenton after living in Annandale.

"It's a family decision. My wife is working at the Pentagon. We wanted to settle in Northern Virginia area. I love the school," said Miller.

Jennifer Miller is a high-ranking member of the Senior Executive Service attached to the U.S. Air Force. She is posted to the Pentagon after time in Afghanistan.

"We're trying to figure out where to buy a house," he added, mentioning Prince William and Fairfax counties as possibilities.

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