Dec 1, 2010
Loewendick Eyes 500th Victory

VERO BEACH — Chuck Loewendick’s road to becoming a basketball wizard began in middle school the moment he started taking notes like a coach scouting an opponent.

Wednesday, Loewendick — the Vero Beach High School boys basketball coach — can reach a coaching mark few do, his 500th win. In his 24th season, and the day before his 55th birthday, Loewendick’s Vero Beach team travels to South Fork for the possible milestone game.

He is 499-205 overall and 472-180 in 22 years at Vero Beach.

Loewendick’s Vero Beach teams have never won fewer than 16 games.

“The consistency is something we are proud of, and we’ve done it a lot of different ways, said Loewendick, a physical education teacher at the school. We do it defensively, of course, but we’ve also done it with big guys, small guys.

“That’s the biggest thing to me about this game, I am always trying to learn new ways to do it.”

Loewendick, who grew up in Newark, Ohio, said his first basketball experience came at the age of 5 when his uncle, Mike Grady, brought him along to a game he officiated.

“My uncle and I would talk about the games on the way home, analyzing different plays and situations, Loewendick said. That’s really how I got started, because at that point there was no one in my direct family that was into sports.”

Loewendick’s father owned a demolition business, and he said the family’s sons worked there. While his brothers eventually made a career of it, Loewendick dreamed of a professional basketball playing career. But when he peaked at 5-foot-10, Loewendick realized being a coaching was more realistic.

“Once I figured out I wasn’t going to go pro, I knew I wanted to coach, said Loewendick, and all-stater in high school who played four years at Ohio Domican University. I just enjoyed all parts of the game. Playing, you are just involved in yourself. But coaching, you are involved in all aspects of the game.”

Loewendick said he is still learning. He visits college practices every season — it was Butler and Purdue this year — to see how other coaches teach and interact with players. He credits a lot of his success to the college coaches he has worked with.

Prior to coming to Vero Beach in 1988, Loewendick spent time as an assistant at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, Lakeland-Santa Fe Catholic High School and Florida Southern College. He was a head coach one season each at Santa Fe Catholic and Miramar high schools.

“I have been involved with a lot of really good people, and … I had a lot of great assistants, Loewendick said. I felt like we had pretty good athletes (at Vero Beach), and we could get them to work hard.

“We try to make our program not only one that wins games, but also has good kids who behave themselves.”

Loewendick’s teams have been to three Final Fours and made 13 playoff appearances. He emphasizes defense and fundamentals, and his players buy into his approach.

“He makes us work hard all the time and hustle, senior forward Pat Gorman said. He makes us better, especially on defense.”

Said junior guard Charlie Miller, He’s the best coach I’ve had.

Loewendick didn’t think he would be at Vero Beach this long, but he and his wife, Gina, saw it as a good place to raise their daughters. Though Kaley, a senior, and Kendall, a junior, will soon graduate, Loewendick isn’t going anywhere and has no plans to stop coaching.

“Dean Smith was asked whether he was going to retire almost every year, and he always said, ‘As soon as I don’t look forward to going to practice, I’ll get out of it, ‘” Loewendick said.

“I keep telling my wife, ‘When this class gets through. When this class gets through.’ As long as it’s still fun and I think I can do a good job, I will keep doing it.”

PERSONNEL FILE

Name: Chuck Loewendick

Team: Vero Beach

Record: 499-205 in 24 years overall; 472-180 in 22 years at Vero Beach

Age: 55 on Thursday

Hometown: Newark, Ohio

College: Ohio Dominican University (1976-80)

Coaching mentors: Larry Brown, Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, John Wooden

Hobbies: Recently bought an 18-foot Grady-White boat, which he uses to take his two daughters fishing.

Bet you didn’t know: Loewendick was named All-State in high school. As a junior at ODU, he made 91 percent of his free-throw attempts to rank second in the nation in that category. He was the first in his family to attend college, which he paid for himself by unloading trucks late at night.

Loewendick Eyes 500th Victory

TCPalm.com (Calif.)

VERO BEACH — Chuck Loewendick’s road to becoming a basketball wizard began in middle school the moment he started taking notes like a coach scouting an opponent.

Wednesday, Loewendick — the Vero Beach High School boys basketball coach — can reach a coaching mark few do, his 500th win. In his 24th season, and the day before his 55th birthday, Loewendick’s Vero Beach team travels to South Fork for the possible milestone game.

He is 499-205 overall and 472-180 in 22 years at Vero Beach.

Loewendick’s Vero Beach teams have never won fewer than 16 games.

“The consistency is something we are proud of, and we’ve done it a lot of different ways, said Loewendick, a physical education teacher at the school. We do it defensively, of course, but we’ve also done it with big guys, small guys.

“That’s the biggest thing to me about this game, I am always trying to learn new ways to do it.”

Loewendick, who grew up in Newark, Ohio, said his first basketball experience came at the age of 5 when his uncle, Mike Grady, brought him along to a game he officiated.

“My uncle and I would talk about the games on the way home, analyzing different plays and situations, Loewendick said. That’s really how I got started, because at that point there was no one in my direct family that was into sports.”

Loewendick’s father owned a demolition business, and he said the family’s sons worked there. While his brothers eventually made a career of it, Loewendick dreamed of a professional basketball playing career. But when he peaked at 5-foot-10, Loewendick realized being a coaching was more realistic.

“Once I figured out I wasn’t going to go pro, I knew I wanted to coach, said Loewendick, and all-stater in high school who played four years at Ohio Domican University. I just enjoyed all parts of the game. Playing, you are just involved in yourself. But coaching, you are involved in all aspects of the game.”

Loewendick said he is still learning. He visits college practices every season — it was Butler and Purdue this year — to see how other coaches teach and interact with players. He credits a lot of his success to the college coaches he has worked with.

Prior to coming to Vero Beach in 1988, Loewendick spent time as an assistant at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, Lakeland-Santa Fe Catholic High School and Florida Southern College. He was a head coach one season each at Santa Fe Catholic and Miramar high schools.

“I have been involved with a lot of really good people, and … I had a lot of great assistants, Loewendick said. I felt like we had pretty good athletes (at Vero Beach), and we could get them to work hard.

“We try to make our program not only one that wins games, but also has good kids who behave themselves.”

Loewendick’s teams have been to three Final Fours and made 13 playoff appearances. He emphasizes defense and fundamentals, and his players buy into his approach.

“He makes us work hard all the time and hustle, senior forward Pat Gorman said. He makes us better, especially on defense.”

Said junior guard Charlie Miller, He’s the best coach I’ve had.

Loewendick didn’t think he would be at Vero Beach this long, but he and his wife, Gina, saw it as a good place to raise their daughters. Though Kaley, a senior, and Kendall, a junior, will soon graduate, Loewendick isn’t going anywhere and has no plans to stop coaching.

“Dean Smith was asked whether he was going to retire almost every year, and he always said, ‘As soon as I don’t look forward to going to practice, I’ll get out of it, ‘” Loewendick said.

“I keep telling my wife, ‘When this class gets through. When this class gets through.’ As long as it’s still fun and I think I can do a good job, I will keep doing it.”

PERSONNEL FILE

Name: Chuck Loewendick

Team: Vero Beach

Record: 499-205 in 24 years overall; 472-180 in 22 years at Vero Beach

Age: 55 on Thursday

Hometown: Newark, Ohio

College: Ohio Dominican University (1976-80)

Coaching mentors: Larry Brown, Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, John Wooden

Hobbies: Recently bought an 18-foot Grady-White boat, which he uses to take his two daughters fishing.

Bet you didn’t know: Loewendick was named All-State in high school. As a junior at ODU, he made 91 percent of his free-throw attempts to rank second in the nation in that category. He was the first in his family to attend college, which he paid for himself by unloading trucks late at night.






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