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Taps Browning

Top 5 Coaches in Southern Indiana

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A poster in another thread said he thought Joey Hart of Linton was a top 5 coach in southern Indiana. Something like that usually isn't really meant to be taken literally, but I thought it might make for interesting discussion. Here is my top 5, in no particular order. I guess we define the "south" as Bloomington and below.

Dave Benter          Brownstown

Doc Nash              Borden

Bryan Hughes      Barr-Reeve

Gene Miiller          Washington

Tom Bradley         Orleans

 

Honorable mention: Oxley at Tecumseh and Dalrymple at North Daviess

Special mention: Bryson Abel at Shoals. What he has been able to do there is remarkable.

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I know this is active, but I would put Jeff Hein up there once he gets back into the coaching ranks. 

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8 hours ago, Taps Browning said:

A poster in another thread said he thought Joey Hart of Linton was a top 5 coach in southern Indiana. Something like that usually isn't really meant to be taken literally, but I thought it might make for interesting discussion. Here is my top 5, in no particular order. I guess we define the "south" as Bloomington and below.

Dave Benter          Brownstown

Doc Nash              Borden

Bryan Hughes      Barr-Reeve

Gene Miiller          Washington

Tom Bradley         Orleans

 

Honorable mention: Oxley at Tecumseh and Dalrymple at North Daviess

Special mention: Bryson Abel at Shoals. What he has been able to do there is remarkable.

So you have 8 ahead of Joey including 4 in the greater Montgomery area?? 

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Interesting choices... All great coaches... But all sort of the same.  I would say the list is as much of a reflection of the type of basketball you enjoy watching as it is coaching ability.

I would put Joey there over quite a few of those guys.  X's and O's he can hold his own. He can do all the same things those guys do.  Here is where Joey is better than most.  

First, he wins at a football school.  Some on the list are the only show in town...  No sharing of time or athletes.  Unlike some others on the previous list... He didn't have to gut other programs to win.  His kids are encouraged to play other sports and lift weights.  I have heard with my own ears some of these other guys talk a kid out of playing another sport.  Meaning their wins and losses are more important than the kid.  Instead, Joey took the fabric that make us a good football program... And he harnessed it into teams that won on the basketball court with the same type of toughness.  

 

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16 minutes ago, Greene County Coach said:

Interesting choices... All great coaches... But all sort of the same.  I would say the list is as much of a reflection of the type of basketball you enjoy watching as it is coaching ability.

I would put Joey there over quite a few of those guys.  X's and O's he can hold his own. He can do all the same things those guys do.  Here is where Joey is better than most.  

First, he wins at a football school.  Some on the list are the only show in town...  No sharing of time or athletes.  Unlike some others on the previous list... He didn't have to gut other programs to win.  His kids are encouraged to play other sports and lift weights.  I have heard with my own ears some of these other guys talk a kid out of playing another sport.  Meaning their wins and losses are more important than the kid.  Instead, Joey took the fabric that make us a good football program... And he harnessed it into teams that won on the basketball court with the same type of toughness.  

 

Two other areas where Joey excels:

One is player development. Austin Robertson is Exhibit A here. Not to mention some of the football players who turned out to be decent basketball players.

Joey is also better than most at adjusting his team's style of play to the talent he has on hand as opposed to many coaches who play the same "system" regardless. 

Here's an example: The last several teams have played quite a bit of 1-3-1 half court trap and pressed full court. They had the personnel and the athletes for it. Whereas the 2012-13 team sat back in a 2-3 zone most of the time and didn't press much. 

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20 hours ago, Taps Browning said:

A poster in another thread said he thought Joey Hart of Linton was a top 5 coach in southern Indiana. Something like that usually isn't really meant to be taken literally, but I thought it might make for interesting discussion. Here is my top 5, in no particular order. I guess we define the "south" as Bloomington and below.

Dave Benter          Brownstown

Doc Nash              Borden

Bryan Hughes      Barr-Reeve

Gene Miiller          Washington

Tom Bradley         Orleans

 

Honorable mention: Oxley at Tecumseh and Dalrymple at North Daviess

Special mention: Bryson Abel at Shoals. What he has been able to do there is remarkable.

Taps I know you post a lot and you seem very knowledgeable, but how in the world do you "special mention" a coach that has 12 wins in three years and leave a coach off honorable mention that has 301 career wins in Kent Chezem? 

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58 minutes ago, Ltown said:

Taps I know you post a lot and you seem very knowledgeable, but how in the world do you "special mention" a coach that has 12 wins in three years and leave a coach off honorable mention that has 301 career wins in Kent Chezem? 

The more I think about it, Taps is fishing on this one. I don't mind that, board is all but dead these days.  He knows fans from Linton, Greene County, and Loogootee are some of the more active posters and this board.  He's just trying to stir it up a little.  

I'll counter with my top 5 Si Coaches

1. Joey Hart

2. Brian Oliver

3. Matt Fougerousse

4. Jared Rhemel

5. Joe Hart

 

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Hick... I like those choices ;)

The more I think about this... The more I think of all the ways a head coach is successful... here are some of the things that came to my mind...

Feeder Program- This can manifest itself in a lot of ways, but the head coach must be leading the charge.  Finding competent coaches... Giving opportunities for kids to play... Etc...  Some coaches inherited all sorts of feeder programs.  Some have had to build from ground up... Others have made a good feeder system better... Others just ride in on the coat tails of others.  

Coach/Community- How does your coach fit into the fabric of your school and community?  Are they active? Do they work well with teachers, administrators, and other coaches?

Coach/Player- lots of ways to skin a cat, but no matter what... The kid has to know the coach cares... And is there for more than just wins and losses.  Life lessons and growth are equally important.

X's and O's - kind of self explanatory... Although this can be accomplished differently.

Unknowns- Every coach has his own challenges.  Some coaches have to share athletes.  Some play second fiddle to other sports.  Some lack community or administrative support. Some coaches are stuck in shadows of the past.  Some coaches have tragedies strike their team or community.  How do they respond

I'm sure there are more... Feel free to add or expand

Relationship with officials... Can they work them for those 50/50 calls.

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2 hours ago, Ltown said:

Taps I know you post a lot and you seem very knowledgeable, but how in the world do you "special mention" a coach that has 12 wins in three years and leave a coach off honorable mention that has 301 career wins in Kent Chezem? 

That is why it is a "special" mention. Seriously did you think Shoals would ever again have a team as good as they do this year? I just didn't think that was possible. Imagine if they had Bauer and Penley.

Also, understand that we are talking about over 100 coaches. Just because I don't mention one doesn't mean I think he is a bad coach. I mean I didn't mention the coaches at Bloomington South and New Albany either, but they are obviously good coaches.

Since you ask specifically about Chezem, in my opinion he does a good job in terms of getting the kids to play hard and to play defense. I think his Loogootee teams look a lot less well coached on the offensive end.

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15 hours ago, hick said:

So you have 8 ahead of Joey including 4 in the greater Montgomery area?? 

No, I rank 7 before coach Hart (and 100 or so other coaches). I just gave special mention to Abel at Shoals for the great job he has done in a short time there.

As GCC points out my picks are naturally going to reflect my personal likes and dislikes. I am looking forward to seeing other people's selections.

Since you ask specifically about coach Hart I will give you my thoughts. He is clearly a good coach, winning about 60% of his games. I rank others higher  because from what I have seen his teams are not strong in basic offensive fundamental skills. His teams score off of defensive pressure, or one on one offense. In general I don't approve of lay coaches and I think his teams are less disciplined than what I consider ideal. All of this is just my opinion of course - but you did ask. Also, I should point out, I have seen a lot less of Hart's games than the other coaches I ranked higher, so I certainly concede with more exposure my thoughts might change.

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3 hours ago, hick said:

The more I think about it, Taps is fishing on this one. I don't mind that, board is all but dead these days.  He knows fans from Linton, Greene County, and Loogootee are some of the more active posters and this board.  He's just trying to stir it up a little.  

I'll counter with my top 5 Si Coaches

1. Joey Hart

2. Brian Oliver

3. Matt Fougerousse

4. Jared Rhemel

5. Joe Hart

 

Come Hick are you really serioius with this list?  I mean how could you possibly put Joe Hart behind RHEMEL.  Joe is a legend and he now continues to contribute by providing vaulable insight.  😁

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2 hours ago, Greene County Coach said:

Hick... I like those choices ;)

The more I think about this... The more I think of all the ways a head coach is successful... here are some of the things that came to my mind...

Feeder Program- This can manifest itself in a lot of ways, but the head coach must be leading the charge.  Finding competent coaches... Giving opportunities for kids to play... Etc...  Some coaches inherited all sorts of feeder programs.  Some have had to build from ground up... Others have made a good feeder system better... Others just ride in on the coat tails of others.  

Coach/Community- How does your coach fit into the fabric of your school and community?  Are they active? Do they work well with teachers, administrators, and other coaches?

Coach/Player- lots of ways to skin a cat, but no matter what... The kid has to know the coach cares... And is there for more than just wins and losses.  Life lessons and growth are equally important.

X's and O's - kind of self explanatory... Although this can be accomplished differently.

Unknowns- Every coach has his own challenges.  Some coaches have to share athletes.  Some play second fiddle to other sports.  Some lack community or administrative support. Some coaches are stuck in shadows of the past.  Some coaches have tragedies strike their team or community.  How do they respond

I'm sure there are more... Feel free to add or expand

Relationship with officials... Can they work them for those 50/50 calls.

That's a good list. I would add the following, although they kind of just go along with the general points already made

Presentation to the public and dealing with media. I want the coach to look and sound like a professional educator.

Being a teacher. I don't mean licensed teacher (although if I were Czar that would be a requirement) but a coach needs to understand that high school basketball is part of the educational process - not an entity in and of itself.

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3 hours ago, Taps Browning said:

That is why it is a "special" mention. Seriously did you think Shoals would ever again have a team as good as they do this year? I just didn't think that was possible. Imagine if they had Bauer and Penley.

Also, understand that we are talking about over 100 coaches. Just because I don't mention one doesn't mean I think he is a bad coach. I mean I didn't mention the coaches at Bloomington South and New Albany either, but they are obviously good coaches.

Since you ask specifically about Chezem, in my opinion he does a good job in terms of getting the kids to play hard and to play defense. I think his Loogootee teams look a lot less well coached on the offensive end.

I'm not convinced yet that Shoals is good. They have beat Dugger and a Loogootee team that didn't show up. 

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3 hours ago, Ltown said:

I'm not convinced yet that Shoals is good. They have beat Dugger and a Loogootee team that didn't show up. 

Cmon. We are not talking good, we are talking about being competitive. They lost by 2 at North Daviess. They lost by 1 at Crothersville. Shoals is way better than anyone thought they could ever be again. Give credit where it is due.

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Although Joey is a lay coach... He was a math teacher and athletic director at his prior coaching stops.  Luckily he has a job that makes far more money and allows him time to be at the school a lot.  

I would say this to some of my thoughts on Coach Hart.  Yes, defensive pressure is a focus.  When you take hard nosed athletes that don't spend all year in the gym... You play to their strengths.  Offensively, there is far more quick hitters with the freedom to improvise.  Some kids make the improvising look more chaotic than others.  

Joey also is a master motivator who can coach any type of kid.  Not all coaches could have been successful with some of the guys he got a lot of great basketball out of.  Talented, but not easy to coach.

 

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On 12/15/2017 at 9:23 PM, hick said:

So you have 8 ahead of Joey including 4 in the greater Montgomery area?? 

 I think Taps has a good list, but I wouldn't put Coach Able on there. I understand his point, but just a lot to early. As far as Greene County coach saying the coaches are all sort of the same then you don't know these coaches because they aren't. I could elaborate, but don't feel like typing that much at the moment. I would have Holmes from Bloomington South and Hart would be ahead of Dalrymple. 

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17 hours ago, MJ11366 said:

 I think Taps has a good list, but I wouldn't put Coach Able on there. I understand his point, but just a lot to early. As far as Greene County coach saying the coaches are all sort of the same then you don't know these coaches because they aren't. I could elaborate, but don't feel like typing that much at the moment. I would have Holmes from Bloomington South and Hart would be ahead of Dalrymple. 

I probably should have mentioned Holmes. 765 wins and counting is hard to ignore. Also winning nearly 70% of your games at a 4A that was never a basketball school is impressive.

The reason I didn't mention him is basically rumor. The two current winningest coaches (Holmes and Keefer) are both called recruiters on these boards. I don't know if it's true or not but there is no question Bloomington South has had better talent than Bloomington North over the past 20 years or so. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

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21 minutes ago, Taps Browning said:

I probably should have mentioned Holmes. 765 wins and counting is hard to ignore. Also winning nearly 70% of your games at a 4A that was never a basketball school is impressive.

The reason I didn't mention him is basically rumor. The two current winningest coaches (Holmes and Keefer) are both called recruiters on these boards. I don't know if it's true or not but there is no question Bloomington South has had better talent than Bloomington North over the past 20 years or so. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

That is a very valid point. South also has a lot of kids that get retained or stay back which is probably very smart and happens a lot in bigger schools. It helps them in sports and allows several of them to go ahead and take college level classes as they become Jr. and Sr. in high school.

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1 hour ago, MJ11366 said:

That is a very valid point. South also has a lot of kids that get retained or stay back which is probably very smart and happens a lot in bigger schools. It helps them in sports and allows several of them to go ahead and take college level classes as they become Jr. and Sr. in high school.

 

1 hour ago, Taps Browning said:

I probably should have mentioned Holmes. 765 wins and counting is hard to ignore. Also winning nearly 70% of your games at a 4A that was never a basketball school is impressive.

The reason I didn't mention him is basically rumor. The two current winningest coaches (Holmes and Keefer) are both called recruiters on these boards. I don't know if it's true or not but there is no question Bloomington South has had better talent than Bloomington North over the past 20 years or so. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

I can't speak to Keefer, although when you bring in players from places like Terre Haute it'll make you wonder, but my two older sons played basketball for South (one also played football).   My youngest is a freshman playing JV/Varsity basketball there currently.  I've been around the program for awhile and I don't know if I would call it "recruiting", but there has always been kids who choose to go to either school regardless of the district they live in as long as they enroll before their freshman year.  I've seen North kids go to South and South kids go to North, and this is for basketball or football.  Usually it's a choice because of the possibilities of playing time early.  Johnny Jager lived in the North district but went to South for high school.  At the same time North had three kids from Owen Valley and another from Edgewood in their program.  Dee Davis went to North his freshman year but then ended up at South his sophomore year on.  His family lived in the South district so he was able to do that and play immediately.  Going even further back Sean May lived in the South district but went to North.  North had a tremendous run with Tom Mckinney in the late 90s - early 2000s with all the talent that went through there and then South did after that.   These things tend to be cyclical and it will be interesting to see what will happen when Holmes retires in the near future and with Speer (former Columbus North coach) just starting at Bloomington North.

As to kids starting school a bit later or even repeating a grade, I've seen that happen all over the place in Indiana.  It does tend to be more prevalent in larger communities and schools, but it happens everywhere.  You can look at almost any basketball roster for any school and there will be a player or two who are 12-18 months older than others in their grade.  I've never seen this a problem and since it is a choice by the parents for their child at the time I never viewed it as any of my business.  It does seem to lend the kid an advantage in the ways you mentioned.

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So this thread got me thinking about who I think are the top five coaches in the basketball I pay attention to, which is the Blue Chip and sectionals 63 and 47.

1. Bryan Hughes-Barr-Reeve

2. Tom Bradley-Orleans

3. Kent Chezem-Loogootee 

4. Brent Dalrymple-North Daviess

5. Joey Hart-Linton 

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I made a list of current south coaches (Bloomington and below) with a win percentage of .675 and higher and at least 10 years of coaching:

Coach, Team, (years), W-L, Win Percentage

Dave Benter Brownstown Central (19)  347-119  .745

Bryan Hughes Barr-Reeve (32)  573-200 .741

J.R. Holmes Bloomington South(47)  766-333  .697

Joe Luce Jeffersonville (18)  305-135  .693

Jim Shannon New Albany (33)  527-241  .686

Gene Miiller Washington (42)  673-315  .681

Tom Bradley Orleans (18)  301-143  .678

Brian Gibson Castle (15)  236-112  .678

 

The following are coaches mentioned in this thread that didn't meet the above criteria:

Doc Nash Borden (11)  177-89  .665

Joey Hart Linton-Stockton (19)  283-179  .613

Kent Chezem Loogootee (23)  301-224  .573

Brent Dalrymple North Daviess (17)  232-178  .566

Kevin Oxley Tecumseh (25)  309-287  .518

 

Based off win percentage then the top 5 (excluding 4A teams) are the same as Taps top 5.  What Benter and Hughes have done is quite remarkable and are in a class by themselves.  Interesting fact according to John Harrell's site, in the last 14 years including current year Brownstown Central and BR have the best records in the entire state.

Edited by SmallTown

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Hmmm... I'll bite... 

Hart's record... 1st two years at Shakamak, Turkey Run, and Linton.  All schools with little to no desire to be a "basketball" school.  In the case of Linton and Shakamak, Joey operated in the shadow of other sports only to get them on almost equal ground.  Anyway... his record after the first two years at each school was like 46%... 61-73.  The rest of his tenure is at these schools is at about 68%.  That is in spite of working with the previous coach(s) feeder program. That isn't even taking into the typical weak classes that come through even with a strong feeder system.  If anything his lower win percentage proves he can win in more than one place against all odds.  

Something I noticed on most of these coaches... a lot of them have a 5-7 year period of 20 win seasons that stand out against the rest of their career.  Take those years out... most have good, but not great win percentages.  Miller, Bradley, and even Hughes have some great runs of winning seasons that pad the stats.  Hart is in the middle of one of those stretches. 

 I'm not as familiar with the larger school dynamics, so I don't know about Jeffersonville, New Albany, and Bloomington South. 

Brownstown Central's Dave Benter intrigues me.  He built a program at a school with a strong tradition as a football school... both programs have flourished.  They had some success a few years before he arrived, but they have had sustained success since he started.  Coach Hart and Coach Oliver have done the same at Linton.  Some coaches kill other sports.  They refuse to share athletes.  Personally, that is a huge strike against a HS coach at a small school.  Probably not as big of a deal at a bigger school.

Edited by Greene County Coach

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21 hours ago, Ltown said:

So this thread got me thinking about who I think are the top five coaches in the basketball I pay attention to, which is the Blue Chip and sectionals 63 and 47.

1. Bryan Hughes-Barr-Reeve

2. Tom Bradley-Orleans

3. Kent Chezem-Loogootee 

4. Brent Dalrymple-North Daviess

5. Joey Hart-Linton 

You might be the only person in Loogootee right now that rates Chezem highly. :07_v:

Edited by Taps Browning

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54 minutes ago, SmallTown said:

I made a list of current south coaches (Bloomington and below) with a win percentage of .675 and higher and at least 10 years of coaching:

Coach, Team, (years), W-L, Win Percentage

Dave Benter Brownstown Central (19)  347-119  .745

Bryan Hughes Barr-Reeve (32)  573-200 .741

J.R. Holmes Bloomington South(47)  766-333  .697

Joe Luce Jeffersonville (18)  305-135  .693

Jim Shannon New Albany (33)  527-241  .686

Gene Miiller Washington (42)  673-315  .681

Tom Bradley Orleans (18)  301-143  .678

Brian Gibson Castle (15)  236-112  .678

 

The following are coaches mentioned in this thread that didn't meet the above criteria:

Doc Nash Borden (11)  177-89  .665

Joey Hart Linton-Stockton (19)  283-179  .613

Kent Chezem Loogootee (23)  301-224  .573

Brent Dalrymple North Daviess (17)  232-178  .566

Kevin Oxley Tecumseh (25)  309-287  .518

 

Based off win percentage then the top 5 (excluding 4A teams) are the same as Taps top 5.  What Benter and Hughes have done is quite remarkable and are in a class by themselves.  Interesting fact according to John Harrell's site, in the last 14 years including current year Brownstown Central and BR have the best records in the entire state.

I didn't include Luce and Shannon because I feel like they usually have more talent than their opposition. Over the years there have not been a lot of really good big schools in the South.

I'll admit any sort of analysis would show Oxley doesn't belong in the conversation. I just think he is a good coach and is a coach who won a state championship when he had talent (and came close to beating the 4A champion in the tourney of champions), and a coach who's teams are competitive when there is little talent.

 

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