Written by Rachel Krome
MEQUON, Wis. – It is common for a father to pass his knowledge down to his son, especially in areas like the family trade, business, or in the case of the Cain family- basketball.
Though this concept is sometimes considered outdated, there have been great father-son basketball coaching examples: Wisconsin-bred Hall of Fame coaches Dick and Jack Bennett and their NCAA Division 1 coaching children: Tony (Virginia), Kathi (Northern Illinois) and Nick (Texas Pan-American) are local examples.
In 2007, Concordia University Wisconsin welcomed Jon Cain to the Falcon men's basketball coaching staff. Jon came to CUW with 16 years of experience at the NCAA Division 1 level serving as an assistant at Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Baylor University.
Jon has been mentoring student-athletes alongside head coach Shawn Cassidy for five years, directing the team's offense. He was excited to hear that his son, Caleb, was going to stay close to home by enrolling at CUW. Caleb is currently one of the team managers and has aspirations of following in his dad's footsteps and becoming a coach after completing his secondary education degree.
Caleb remembers first being interested in coaching during his freshman year of high school.
"I have never been the best athlete, but I love sports and competing," he said. "I think it is great helping and watching the team grow and win. It is all about the team."
Having someone with so much experience at his side, Caleb holds his father in high regard. "I get to learn from one of the best coaches I've ever seen," Caleb said. "I get to pick his brain every day and learn from him."
Caleb mentioned that his dad is always there to answer any questions he has. He asks his father questions during practice and about a game as soon 'as it is convenient'. "My dad always has an answer. He knows everything that is going on and teaches me things all the time."
Jon enjoys seeing his son experience a lot of what he has done, because Caleb has always watched games from the stands. Now Caleb gets to see the behind the scenes process. "I think it is really good for him to see what it takes to be a coach and figure out if he wants to do this."
Caleb says his plans are to teach at the high school level and coach basketball. "I want to see where it goes from there and maybe work my way up into college coaching."
Jon encourages his son to follow his dreams and he is immensely proud of Caleb.
"I want Caleb to be Caleb. I think God has a plan for each of us and if coaching and sports is part of that for Caleb, I want it to be truly what he believes in."