INDIANAPOLIS – Three people with significant ties to Indiana high school basketball will be recognized with Virgil Sweet Awards at the 2018 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association annual clinic later this month.
Virgil Sweet Awards are presented to those who have provided meritorious service in the promotion of basketball across Indiana. The award is named in honor of Sweet, the former Valparaiso High School basketball coach and former executive director of the IBCA.
This year’s recipients are former Columbia City and Fort Wayne Canterbury girls’ coach Wayne Kreiger, Terry Downham of Kokomo and former Franklin Community girls’ coach Walt Raines.
Each will be honored during a program on April 20 at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. Kreiger is the honoree from District 1. Downham is the recipient from District 2. Raines is the honoree from District 3.
The full clinic runs April 20-21 with Indiana University men’s coach Archie Miller as the headline speaker. Other featured speakers are Marian University women’s coach Katie Gearlds, Southern Illinois men’s coach Barry Hinson and Emmanuel (Ga.) College men’s coach T.J. Rosene. Admission to the clinic is $50 for IBCA members and $100 for non-IBCA members.
For more information about the IBCA, go to www.ibcacoaches.com.
Kreiger compiled a 588-233 record as a varsity girls’ basketball coach at Columbia City and Fort Wayne Canterbury, leading the Cavaliers to the 2013 Class A state championship and amassing three state runner-up finishes (one at Columbia City, two at Canterbury). He remains the state’s fifth all-time winningest coach for girls basketball.
In 33 seasons from 1977-2010 as the girls coach at Columbia City, Kreiger’s teams went 520-222 with 16 sectional titles, eight regional crowns, one semistate trophy and claimed Class 3A state runner-up honors in 2000. He later coached three seasons at Canterbury, 2012-15, guiding the Cavs to a 68-11 mark that included the aforementioned state crown plus Class 2A state runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015.
Kreiger is a 1960 graduate of Huntington Township High School, where he competed in basketball, baseball and track & field. He went on to Manchester College, competing in basketball there, and received a master’s degree from Ball State in 1968.
He began his career in education with West Noble Schools in 1964-65, then worked in Huntington County Community Schools from 1965-70. He moved to Columbia City Schools in 1970, serving two years as a boys basketball assistant and two years as boys basketball head coach before taking over the Eagles’ girls program in the fall of 1977.
He was an Indiana All-Star assistant coach in 1989 and a Junior All-Star assistant coach in 1996. He was presented the Claude Wolfe Coach of the Year Award from Manchester College in 2005.
Kreiger was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Kreiger has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 28 years. He has three children, two step-children and 13 grandchildren.