Kyle Smithpeters has made a living on answering the door when opportunity knocks.
After 10 successful seasons at the helm of John A. Logan College, Smithpeters will answer another door -- this one -- 250 miles away.
On Thursday, Smithpeters was named an assistant coach for the Missouri men's basketball team, joining new head coach Dennis Gates.
Smithpeters called his time on the Carterville campus as enjoyable and something he will remember forever.
"The last 10 years I have made great friends and great memories and this has been the hardest decision I have had to make. I truly believe that we left the men's basketball program better than we found it and there are good people in place to lead John A. Logan College in the right direction. I feel very comfortable with who we have in charge there, along with the players, to uphold the Logan way.
"I have had a lot of opportunities over the years, a lot many people don't know about, but this is an opportunity to work with a person that has similar beliefs," Smithpeters said. "Dennis not only helps players on the court, but off the court as well. I've known him for 15 years, he's a man of high integrity and doing things the right way."
Smithpeters now joins Dickey Nutt and Charlton Young as new assistant coaches on the Mizzou staff.
Smithpeters, who was named to the 50 Most Impactful Coaches in Junior College Basketball by Silver Wave Media, has seven 20-win seasons in a row and eight "coach of the year" awards.
He was also named the NABC College Coaching Consortium and was the only JUCO coach on the panel.
He has a combined record of 241-73 and went 128-25 the last five years for a 84% win percentage.
Smithpeters just concluded his 10th season, where he led the Vols to a 29-4 record and a second straight trip to the National Tournament in Hutchison, Kansas.
While at the helm of Logan, Smithpeters coached eight All-Americans and two NJCAA Players of The Year in Jay Scrubb and Sean East.
Scrubb spent two successful seasons at JALC before he turned pro and was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2019 NBA Draft.
East, who was named this past season's NJCAA Player Of The Year recently committed to Missouri.
"I've been very fortunate to work at JALC," Smithpeters said. "It truly is a special place with special people. Greg Starrick has been instrumental in the recent success of our athletic program. He truly is a great leader and even better person. I don't know if I have ever seen anyone care more about a players success than Greg Starrick. It's going to be hard to leave a great friend."
In addition to the eight All-Americans, Smithpeters has sent more than 50-plus players to Division 1 programs and has earned 10 Coach Of The Year awards. Of the 10 awards, he has been named Great Rivers Athletic Conference Coach Of The Year eight times throughout his 10 seasons as head coach.
The Harrisburg native, who graduated from high school in 2001, went on to play two seasons at Southeastern Illinois College for Todd Franklin and then suited up for the Salukis from 2004-06 under Chris Lowery.
After hanging up the jersey, Smithpeters began his coaching career under Franklin at SIC. He came to JALC as an assistant under Mark Imhoff for four years.
Smithpeters then served as an assistant on Paul Lusks staff at Missouri State from 2011-12 before becoming the seventh head coach in the history of the John A. Logan men's basketball program.
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.