Jeff Finke

News-Gazette file photo

Central's head coach Jeff Finke in a prep basketball game at Combes Gym at Central High School in Champaign on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018.

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CHAMPAIGN — Jeff Finke has stepped down from his role as Champaign Central boys’ basketball coach, he told The News-Gazette on Wednesday evening.

“I resigned at Central,” Finke said in a text message. “Really difficult decision for me. I loved coaching those young men.”

Finke directed the Maroons for the last six seasons, compiling a 98-64 record. His tenure began in 2015, at which time he was Central’s third coach in three seasons following Wayne McClain’s death and Sergio McClain’s interim stint.

Finke’s Maroons won four consecutive Class 3A regional championships between 2016 and 2019, though all of those teams fell in a sectional semifinal. Central’s 2017-18 squad was Finke’s best by record, finishing 20-9, and the Maroons went 9-5 during the pandemic-shortened 2021 season.

Each of Finke’s six Central teams included at least one News-Gazette All-Area first-team selection.

One of his sons, current Wright State basketball athlete Tim Finke, was a three-time first-team choice between 2016 and 2018 and the 2018 Player of the Year.

Jeff Finke’s other All-Area first-team players were Doug Wallen (2017), A’Kieon Gill (2018), Khailieo Terry (2019 and 2020), Pryce Punkay (2020) and Henry Hamelberg (2021).

Finke also is the father of former Illinois basketball player Michael Finke and former Army hoopster Nick Finke.

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

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