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George "Jeff" Carling
The Centralia Sports Hall of Fame
2008 Individual Award Winner


 

George “Jeff” Carling came to Centralia High School as head basketball coach for the 1974-75 season.  After three consecutive sub-five hundred seasons, Carling was the answer to a quick turnaround in the CHS basketball fortunes. The master motivator was quick to turn heads with his racehorse-style of basketball and uncanny sideline antics. While his showmanship became the talk all around state, the important thing was Centralia was winning basketball games again and having a whale of fun time doing it. 

Carling was named South Seven Conference Coach of the Year in 1975. His three year stay as the Orphans coach saw a total record of 52-38.  In 1988-89, Carling returned to Centralia to take the reins of the Kaskaskia College Blue Devil basketball program. With the same flare and flamboyance and his penchant for the value of team work, he lead the Blue Devils to a total of 205 wins and 147 losses over the next eleven seasons. His 1991 and 1998 teams were NJCAA region XXIV and District IV (State) champions. 

The 1991 team finished 9th in the NJCAA national finals with a 26-11 record. The 1998 team, with all Illinois players, compiled a record of 33-5 and took 7th in the NJCAA national finals and also captured the Great Rivers Athletic Conference title. They were ranked 12th in the nation at the end of the season. His 1992 team also captured a GRAC title.  

Carling was named GRAC Coach of the Year in 1992, 1996, 1997, and 1998. He received NJCAA Region XXIV, District IV and Illinois community college Coach of the Year awards in 1991 and 1998.  

While at KC, Carling also served as Athletic Director and Director of Student Activities. He received the Distinguished Service Award at KC in 1994. He earned his B.S. in Speech Communication and B.S. in Physical Education at Murray State University in 1969.


 

 

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