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Opinion

Remembering the decade: The Coaches

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What a decade it was for Montgomery County high school sports.

A state championship, a pair of state runner-ups, and dozens of sectional titles in between. Over the next week the Journal Review will release all-decade teams.

Myself, Bob Cox, Barry Lewis, and Jeff Nelson have selected all-decade teams for both boys and girls as individual athletes that will appear in print at the end of this week. Next week we will feature a list of all-decade teams and moments.

To start us out I will breakdown my list in order, of the top high school coaches of the decade. This is entirely my list, with little help from others. I tried to keep in mind both success and longevity when choosing and ranking the coaches.

No. 1 John Froedge

The Crawfordsville hall-of-fame baseball coach was the only coach to win a state title in the decade, securing the Class 3A state championship in 2011, when his team went 29-6.

Froedge guided the Athenians to nine 20-win seasons in the decade, and four sectional championships, plus an additional regional title in 2013, and seven Sagamore Conference championships. He also coached six Indiana All-Stars.

No. 2 Maurice Swain

Former North Montgomery wrestling coach took over the Charger program in 2010, and elevated the program immediately.

Swain posted a dual-meet record of 167-54, and won five Sagamore Conference titles and three sectional titles. The Chargers also made four appearances in five years at the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s Team State duals, finishing runner-up in Class 2A in 2013-14, while placing third in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and fourth in 2018. Swain produced eight state qualifiers, including three in 2013 when Nick Borta became the first Charger to ever place at the state finals. Tanner Webster was also a state runner-up in 2017.

No. 3 Kevin Hedrick

Kevin Hedrick took over the Crawfordsville boys’ and girls’ swimming programs in 2011, and instantly turned the Athenians into one of the best programs of the decade.

Crawfordsville won the boys’ sectional championship in 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, and the girls title in 2011, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

The Athenians have also won numerous Sagamore Conference and Montgomery County championships under Hedrick and had dozens of state qualifiers.

No. 4 Britney Carpenter

Despite four struggling years while guiding Crawfordsville’s softball team, it was tough not to rank Britney Carpenter even higher than fourth thanks to her success in just two years at Southmont.

Carpenter took the Mounties all the way to the state finals during her first season in 2014, before falling to South Spencer 1-0 in the state finals. Southmont was 42-20 in two seasons under Carpenter, who also coached all-state selection McKenzi Jordan, who led the Mounties both offensively and in pitching during their state finals run.

No. 5 Chris Webb

Fountain Central boys’ tennis coach Chris Webb was one of the most consistent of the decade.

The long tenured coach won five sectional titles, including the last three in a row. Webb guided the Mustangs to sectional titles in 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

No. 6 Jamie Welliever and Kevin Wilkinson

Hall of fame wrestling coach Jamie Welliever is one of few local coaches that coached multiple sports in the last decade.

Welliever started the decade as the Southmont wrestling coach, guiding the Mounties a sectional title in 2011. The next season he turned over the program to Kevin Wilkinson, and took over the baseball program. Welliever guided the Mounties for seven seasons and to a sectional title in 2017. After 325 wins in 22 seasons the first time around, Welliever took back over the wrestling program in the fall of 2018.

Wilkinson took over the Southmont wrestling program for Welliever in the fall of 2011, and continued the Mountie’s rich tradition of success. In seven seasons Wilkinson coached Southmont to sectional titles in 2012, 2015, and 2016. Wilkinson also coached a number of state qualifiers, including Zach Worm and Boone Welliever, who both placed at the state finals.

No. 7 Desson Hannum

For the entire decade Desson Hannum guided the Southmont football program, and took over the track and field team in 2015 following Marvin Walters.

In track and field Hannum produced a foursome of state qualifiers in Brooks Long, Justin Lowe, Brittany Barrett, and Jason Christensen.

In football, the 13-year veteran coach posted a 45-61 record in the decade, but won three-straight Sagamore Conference championships spanning from 2009-11. The Mounties won eight games in both 2009 and 2010.

No. 8 Jason Good

Fountain Central athletic director Jason Good originally moved to Veedersburg to take over the Fountain Central boys’ basketball program, and had instant success.

Good guided the Mustangs for seven seasons, compiling a record of 84-86, and won sectional championships in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Good’s teams won at least 15 games three different times.

No. 9 Bob Nabors

The longtime North Montgomery girls’ tennis coach completed his career with four sectional titles in nine coaching seasons of the decade.

Nabors guided the Chargers to sectional titles in 2010, 2011, 2017, and 2018. He also coached Kelly Kyle and Kiera Bonebrake to a fourth-place finish in the doubles state tournament in 2011.

No. 10 Megan Craig

Crawfordsville cross country coach Megan Craig has turned the Athenian program into a topnotch program in a short time. Craig has guided Crawfordsville to girls’ Sagamore Conference titles in 2016, 2017, and 2019, while the boys’ won the conference in 2018 and the sectional in 2017.

No. 11 Madison Burton (Fouty)

The former Southmont girls’ soccer coach was nothing but successful in three seasons guiding the Mounties. Burton’s teams had a combined record of 26-23-3 8-6, while she led the Mounties to their first ever sectional championship in 2017, before they won their second of three-straight in 2018.

No. 12 David Pierce

Crawfordsville boys’ basketball coach David Pierce is the longest tenured basketball coach in the area, taking over the Athenian program in the fall of 2010. In 9+ seasons, Pierce owns a 103-109 record as the Athenians coach, which ranks him tied for second all-time in wins for Crawfordsville boys’ basketball. Pierce guided Crawfordsville to their first sectional title since 1989 in 2014, and to an 18-win season and their first Sagamore Conference title since 1987 last season.

What are some of your favorite/top coaches of the decade? Tweet us at JR_Sports

That concludes my list of top coaches of the decade. Check back more before the end of the year as we take a look at some of the best athletes, moments, and teams of the decade.

Jared McMurry was born and raised in Montgomery County and is the Sports Editor of the Journal Review. He can be reached by phone at 765-918-8656 or by email at jmcmurry@jrpress.com

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GBurton

no Marvin Walters? Didn't his track teams dominate the county? Didn't he have a few conference championships as well 2011 and 2013? Didn't he coach a two time back to back state champion in Jonathan Christensen? I just kinda figured he'd be in the top 3.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019