Indian Hills opens as Plona joins WKU staff

WKU Hilltopper Basketball head coach Steve Lutz announced the hiring of longtime Indian Hills Community College head coach Hank Plona to his staff. Plona will join the Hilltoppers as an assistant coach for the 2023-24 season.

“Hank is bringing an incredible amount of experience to our staff,” said Lutz on the hire. “He is the consummate professional and is a man of integrity. He is tremendous at building and maintaining relationships with people and is a very good basketball coach. We are excited to have him join us on The Hill.”

“I’d like to thank Coach Lutz for the opportunity to join him and his staff at Western Kentucky,” said Plona. “There’s great basketball tradition at WKU and I am looking forward to continuing that legacy.”

In his eight seasons as head coach at Indian Hills, Plona coached the Warriors to a 225-35 (.865) record. IHCC qualified for the NJCAA National Tournament in seven of those eight seasons. Plona led the team to eight consecutive ICCAC regular-season titles, six postseason conference titles and four district championships.

Plona coached 11 All-Americans in his time at IHCC, along with 36 all-region performers. A total of 58 of his players moved on from IHCC to Division I schools, and nearly 20 of those former Warriors are currently playing professionally around the globe.

Notably, Plona has helped deliver several players to the highest level of NCAA Division I the past few seasons as Tomas Woldetensae landed with 2019 National Champion Virginia, while the following season, Tyon Grant-Foster was sought out by Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks.

The past four seasons have seen three former Warriors join Power Five schools in Maurice Calloo (Oregon State), Chris Payton (Pittsburgh) and J’Vonne Hadley (Colorado).

Prior to his first head coaching job, Plona was an assistant coach at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas for four seasons. The team made three national tournament appearances in Plona’s four seasons there, winning the national title in 2012 with an undefeated record. His team also made it to the championship game in 2015, just prior to Plona being named head coach at Indian Hills.

Plona spent one season as an assistant coach at IHCC (2010-11) and one as an assistant coach at Arkansas Fort-Smith (2009-10).

The Avon, Conn., native was a student manager and graduate assistant at Providence College under Tim Welsh and Keno Davis.

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