May 23, 2012
Indiana School Hires County’s First Black Varsity Boys Coach

Indianapolis Star

http://www.indystar.com/article/20120522/SPORTS/205220379/Muncie-Southside-hires-1st-black-varsity-boys-basketball-coach-county

Jeff Howard had Muncie Southside Athletic Director Tom Lyon at hello.

The charismatic Howard practically landed the Southside varsity boys basketball head coaching gig before he sat down in his seat for the interview.

“”It was just immediate, Lyon said. Interviews are always strange. There’s a little bit of tension. But there was no tension with him.”

Howard stayed at the top of Lyon’s list throughout the interview process, and on Tuesday, the Muncie Community School Board voted 4-0 in favor of hiring Howard as a Southside physical-education teacher and as the head basketball coach. Board member Tony Costello was absent from the proceedings and missed the vote.

Southside broke a color barrier by hiring Howard, who served as the Anderson Highland head coach for the 2008-09 season and assisted at Anderson the past two years. Howard is the first black varsity boys basketball coach at any Delaware County high school.

“You don’t get these types of opportunities to be a pioneer, or distinguished if you will, unless, I think you have the blessings from above, Howard said. I hope I can do the job that is needed from a basketball standpoint, but I think it’s an even bigger job from a role model standpoint.”

Howard is the second black varsity boys basketball head coach in East Central Indiana. Jeff Holloway broke the region’s color barrier when Union hired him for its vacancy before the 2008-09 season. Holloway coached the Rockets to a 16-7 record and their first sectional title since the 1969-70 season this past year.

Holloway applauded Southside for hiring Howard, but he downplayed the notion that the shortage of black coaches in the area is indicative of any sort of racism by school officials. Holloway said, in his opinion, the shortage is an indictment on how few qualified black people apply for those positions.

“You have to be a teacher, and we’re not pursuing those avenues, Holloway said. If you have 50 applicants and you have one (black applicant) in there, I don’t think it’s anyone saying, ‘I don’t want an African-American coach.’ “

Howard replaces Rick Baumgartner, who resigned in March after his third stint as the Southside head coach. Baumgartner coached the Rebels to a 229-134 record and their only state championship (2000-01 Class 3A) in 16 seasons on the bench. Baumgartner said Southside presents a coach some unique challenges, but ultimately, the key for success there is the same as it is at any other school.

“I don’t care what situation you’re going into, you’ve got to earn the kids’ respect, whether it’s in the classroom or on the court, Baumgartner said. A lot of it has to do with how you teach. What motivates one kid won’t necessarily motivate another. It’s a matter of finding those right buttons to push, not just from a motivational standpoint but from a discipline standpoint.”

Indiana School Hires County’s First Black Varsity Boys Coach

Indianapolis Star

http://www.indystar.com/article/20120522/SPORTS/205220379/Muncie-Southside-hires-1st-black-varsity-boys-basketball-coach-county

Jeff Howard had Muncie Southside Athletic Director Tom Lyon at hello.

The charismatic Howard practically landed the Southside varsity boys basketball head coaching gig before he sat down in his seat for the interview.

“It was just immediate, Lyon said. Interviews are always strange. There’s a little bit of tension. But there was no tension with him.”

Howard stayed at the top of Lyon’s list throughout the interview process, and on Tuesday, the Muncie Community School Board voted 4-0 in favor of hiring Howard as a Southside physical-education teacher and as the head basketball coach. Board member Tony Costello was absent from the proceedings and missed the vote.

Southside broke a color barrier by hiring Howard, who served as the Anderson Highland head coach for the 2008-09 season and assisted at Anderson the past two years. Howard is the first black varsity boys basketball coach at any Delaware County high school.

“You don’t get these types of opportunities to be a pioneer, or distinguished if you will, unless, I think you have the blessings from above, Howard said. I hope I can do the job that is needed from a basketball standpoint, but I think it’s an even bigger job from a role model standpoint.”

Howard is the second black varsity boys basketball head coach in East Central Indiana. Jeff Holloway broke the region’s color barrier when Union hired him for its vacancy before the 2008-09 season. Holloway coached the Rockets to a 16-7 record and their first sectional title since the 1969-70 season this past year.

Holloway applauded Southside for hiring Howard, but he downplayed the notion that the shortage of black coaches in the area is indicative of any sort of racism by school officials. Holloway said, in his opinion, the shortage is an indictment on how few qualified black people apply for those positions.

“You have to be a teacher, and we’re not pursuing those avenues, Holloway said. If you have 50 applicants and you have one (black applicant) in there, I don’t think it’s anyone saying, ‘I don’t want an African-American coach.’ ”

Howard replaces Rick Baumgartner, who resigned in March after his third stint as the Southside head coach. Baumgartner coached the Rebels to a 229-134 record and their only state championship (2000-01 Class 3A) in 16 seasons on the bench. Baumgartner said Southside presents a coach some unique challenges, but ultimately, the key for success there is the same as it is at any other school.

“I don’t care what situation you’re going into, you’ve got to earn the kids’ respect, whether it’s in the classroom or on the court, Baumgartner said. A lot of it has to do with how you teach. What motivates one kid won’t necessarily motivate another. It’s a matter of finding those right buttons to push, not just from a motivational standpoint but from a discipline standpoint.”






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