Inducted Hall of Fame 1987

     Virgil Sweet was a part of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association since the group’s inception and an award is named after him. However, not everyone may recall what an outstanding coach Sweet was for 20 years at Valparaiso High School.

            A 1945 graduate of Covington High School, Sweet played basketball on a team that reached the Indianapolis Semi-State and lost 39-38 to Rushville as a senior. He initially went to Butler and played one year of football for Tony Hinkle, then transferred to Eastern Illinois and played football and baseball for the Panthers. He graduated from EIU in 1950 and later earned a master’s degree from Indiana University.

            Sweet began his basketball coaching career as an assistant coach to Don Reichert for one season at Covington. Sweet became varsity coach for three seasons at Westville (Ill.) before moving to Valparaiso as the varsity coach from 1954-74. His Vikings won 296 games over those 20 seasons, going 48-6 in sectional contests, claiming 14 sectional titles – including 11 in a row – and twice reached the final eight of the state tournament.

            In 23 seasons as a varsity coach, including the three years at Westville, Sweet’s teams won 342 games.

            Sweet’s teams at Valparaiso were noted for their excellent free-throw shooting, largely because of 20-step system that became known as the “Valparaiso Free-Throw Method.” His 1963-64 squad shot .792 for the season, then a national high school record. He coached two high school All-Americans, 54 players who played college basketball and 16 players who became coaches. Sweet was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

            After retiring as a coach, Sweet was chairman of the Valparaiso physical education department and served as the IBCA executive director from 1974 through 1984 after assisting Marion Crawley with the group for a year. He then retired from teaching and moved to Florida, where he has had a tremendously successful second career in real estate.

            Sweet’s wife of 47 years, Paralee, passed away in 1999. They had two daughters, Shari and Sandy, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Sweet remained active until his passing, regularly playing tennis and attending the IBCA Clinic almost every year through 2019.

            Sweet was 96 years old when he passed away on June 7, 2023.

2024 Winners

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1974 to the Present

Virgil Sweet Award winners
            Virgil Sweet Award winners as presented by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association from 1974 to the present. One winner per year 1974-1979. Generally, five winners per year from 1980-2003 when the IHSAA was in a five-district format. Three to eight winners per year from 2004-present when IHSAA has been in a three-district format. The award initially was called the IBCA Medal Award. The name was changed to the IBCA Service Award in 1978. The name was changed to the IBCA Virgil Sweet Award in 1986.

1974: Tom Carnegie.

1975: Bob Williams.

1976: Nate Kaufman.

1977: Hilliard Gates.

1978: Marion Crawley.

1979: Marv Bates (posthumously).

1980: Doug Adams (District 1); Len Davis (District 2); Jerry Baker (District 3); John Jordan (District 4); Bob Simmers (District 5).

1981: Terry Lee (District 1); Jack Yaggy (District 2); Otis Bowen (District 3); Bob Barnet (District 4); Joe Edwards (District 5).

1982: Bob King (District 1); Forrest Miller (District 2); Dave Pert (District 3); Herbie Houk (District 4); Richard Lankford (District 5).

1983: Dave Krider (District 1); Earl Mishler (District 2); Patricia Roy (District 3); Sam Simmermaker (District 4); Norman Hall (District 5).

1984: Pinky Newell (District 1); Herb Swartz (District 2); Don Jellison (District 3); Morry Mannies (District 4); Whitey Jones (District 5).

1985: Virgil Sweet (District 1); Joe Smekens (District 2); Charlie Maas (District 3); Sam Roberts (District 4); Bob Hammel (District 5).

1986: Harry Bradway (District 1); Hilliard Gates (District 2); Jimmie Angelopolous and Ron Harris (District 3); Don McBride (District 4); John Potts (District 5).

1987: Bill Overholser (District 1); Bill Fowler (District 2); Howard Catt (District 3); Orvis "Shorty" Burdsall (District 4); Lloyd E. "Barney" Scott (District 5).

1988: Paul Rommelmann (District 1); Gene Conard (District 2); Jerry Baker (District 3); Eric Wohlford (District 4); Bob Simmers (District 5). 

1989: Doug Adams (District 1); Bob Straight (District 2); Don Bates (District 3); Phil Stigelman (District 4); Guy Glover (District 5).

1990: Skip Collins (District 1); Bud Gallmeier (District 2); Betty Sizelove (District 3); Gus Moorhead (District 4); Bob Lochmueller (District 5).

1991: no awards presented (no clinic program held this year).

1992: Joe Heath (District 1); Ken Klimek (District 2); Garry Donna (District 3); Phil Buck (District 4); Bud Ritter (District 5).

1993: John Mutka (District 1); Leroy Lambright (District 2); Ray Craft (District 3); Ron Lemasters (District 4); Charlie Jenkins (District 5).

1994: Mildred Ball (District 1); Bob Primmer (District 2); Tom Carnegie (District 3); Ted Server (District 4); George Marshall (District 5).

1995: Earl Mishler (District 1); By Hey (District 2); Kurt Freudenthal (District 3); Harold Schutz (District 4); Temme Patterson (District 5).

1996: Paul Condry (District 1); Greg Johans (District 2); Wayne Fuson (District 3); Jan Clark (District 4); Mike Blake (District 5).

1997: Paul Jankowski (District 1); David Fulkerson (District 2); Gene Conard (District 3); John Robbins (District 4); Dan Korb (District 5).

1998: Wally McCormack (District 1); Dick Stimpson (District 2); Bill Pfister (District 3); Ron Raver (District 4); Mike Barrett (District 5).

1999: Forrest Rhode (District 1); Dennis Kraft (District 2); Jim Rosenstihl (District 3); Phil Snodgress (District 4); Robert “Bud” Shippee (District 5).

2000: Jeff Washburn (District 1); Rita Price Simpson (District 2); Howard Sharpe (District 3); Scott Davidson and Jeff Ayler (District 4); Larry Schweizer (District 5).

2001: Curt Casbon (District 1); Fred Inniger (District 2); Gene Cato (District 3); Bob Lovell (District 4); Brian Bohne (District 5).

2002: Marvin Tudor (District 1); Jack Woodruff (District 2); Jim Russell (District 3); John Hodge (District 4); Tom Collins (District 5).

2003: Paul Curtis (District 1); Dean Pantazi (District 2); Vince Welch (District 3); George Griffith (District 4); Jack Butcher (District 5).

2004: Ron Heflin and Dan Swift (District 1); Patrick Aikman and Pat McKee (District 2); Richard Lankford, Donna Sullivan and Graham Taylor (District 3).

2005: Keith Nuest and Elmer Strautman (District 1); Bill Benner and Gene Keady (District 2); Walt Ferber (District 3).

2006: Homer Drew and Mike Hey (District 1); Gene Milner and Herb Schwomeyer (District 2); Dan Egierski and Orlando "Gunner" Wyman (District 3).

2007: Anthony Anderson, Tom Rehm and Dan Willett (District 1); Dave Calabro and Judi Warren (District 2); Cliff Guilliams and Kurt Gutgsell (District 3).

2008: Chip Jones and Fred Mitchell (District 1); Roger Dickinson and Bob Kirkhoff (District 2); Chris James and Jason Recker (District 3).

2009: Bob Adams (District 1); Greg Bell and Leigh Evans (District 2); Bob Boyles, John Harrell and Jeff Sagarin (District 3).

2010: Stu Swartz, Jackie and Cory Webster (District 1); Larry Barrett and Ed Siegel (District 2); Hugh Schaefer (District 3).

2011: Mark Smith (District 1); Mike Beas (District 2); Charles Denbo (District 3).

2012: Al Hamnik and Greg Jones (District 1); Dr. John McCarroll, Robin Miller and Dick Rea (District 2); Curt Cavin, Arv Koontz and Pete Swanson (District 3).

2013: Joe Arredondo and Wayne Svetanoff (District 1); Rich Nye (District 2); Keith Doades and John Heaton (District 3).

2014: Chuck Freeby, Steve Hanlon and Bob Nagle (District 1); Danny Danielson and Charlie Hughes (District 2); Andy Graham and Johnny McCrory (District 3).

2015: Tommy Schoegler and Bob Stambazze (District 1); Mark Morrow and Kyle Neddenriep (District 2); Bryce Kendrick (District 3).

2016: John Dillman and Jerry Hoover (District 1); Dan Repass and Bill Uhrig (District 2); Kevin Smith (District 3).

2017: Phil Gardner and Mike Lightfoot (District 1); John Grimes and Paul Patterson (District 2); Bob Bridge (District 3).

2018: Wayne Kreiger (District 1); Terry Downham (District 2); Walt Raines (District 3).

2019: Bill Walker (District 1); Charlie Hall (District 2); Larry Goffinet (District 3).

2020: Jim Peters (District 1); Mike Carmin (District 2); Gordon Engelhardt (District 3).

2021: no winners named (winners from 2020 honored in 2021 because of COVID-19 pandemic).

2022: Dan Vance (District 1); Randy Shields (District 2); Andy Amey (District 3).

2023: Roger Grossman (District 1); Denise McClanahan (District 2); Mike Lopresti (District 3).

2024: Angelo DiCarlo (District 1); Craig Lyon (District 2); Rick Semmler (District 3)