2013-12-17 / Front Page

Now In His 50th High School Season, Pat Rady Continues To Coach For The Love Of The Game

by Donna Hardy
Correspondent


Cloverdale’s Pat Rady, right, is shown here with his son, Patrick. The elder Rady was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in and is currently in his 50th season of coaching high school basketball. (Staff Photo) Cloverdale’s Pat Rady, right, is shown here with his son, Patrick. The elder Rady was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in and is currently in his 50th season of coaching high school basketball. (Staff Photo) Anyone who is a fan of Indiana high school basketball has probably heard the name Coach Pat Rady.

Local basketball fans are fortunate enough to be able to see an Indiana basketball great in action.

Coach Rady is currently the head coach for the varsity boys’ basketball squad at Cloverdale High School, where his team is now off to a 6-0 start.

He started his varsity coaching career 50 seasons ago at Bainbridge, where he coach for five years. He then moved on to Winchester for two years, followed by Southmont for one year and back to Winchester for three more seasons. Next was a five-year stay at Shelbyville.

The largest portion of Rady’s coaching career was spent at Terre Haute South, where he coached for 24 years. From there he traveled east to Cloverdale where he is now in his tenth season and his 50th overall.


Cloverdale varsity boys’ basketball coach Pat Rady is shown above thanking the student body for their support following a recent game at Cloverdale. (Photo by Donna Hardy) Cloverdale varsity boys’ basketball coach Pat Rady is shown above thanking the student body for their support following a recent game at Cloverdale. (Photo by Donna Hardy) Coach Rady knew from an early age that he wanted to coach basketball. But it was after he was cut during his freshman year at Hanover that he became a student of the game and really learned a lot from other coaches.

He attributes a lot of where he is today to his high school coach. “I would not be here today without him... He believed in me.”

Over the years, coach Rady has seen a lot of success, culminating a record of 725-413. His 725 wins place him as the second winningest coach of all time in Indiana high school basketball history, just passing Howard Sharpe’s 723 with a pair of wins and a championship at the Putnam County Tournament over the weekend. He is at the top of the list for active basketball coaches.


This is a typical sight during a Cloverdale varsity boys’ basketball game. Coach Pat Rady can usually be seen with roster in hand, kneeling down as he leads his team. Coach Rady is now the second winningest Indiana high school boys’ basketball coach of all time with 725 wins. His team will try to add to that total this coming Friday night, December 13, when they play host to Greencastle. (Photo by Donna Hardy) This is a typical sight during a Cloverdale varsity boys’ basketball game. Coach Pat Rady can usually be seen with roster in hand, kneeling down as he leads his team. Coach Rady is now the second winningest Indiana high school boys’ basketball coach of all time with 725 wins. His team will try to add to that total this coming Friday night, December 13, when they play host to Greencastle. (Photo by Donna Hardy) Although this is a great achievement, coach Rady would say that he has simply had some great teams over the years and he has had a great time coaching. “I’ve had some pretty good players that’s paid the price to play the game to a high level and I have enjoyed watching, even in the tough years,” he said.

“I have so many fond memories of all the schools I’ve coached at,” he said, explaining that he can remember everything from the players to the coaches to the parents and fans. “I’m just a very lucky man. I’m grateful for what the Lord has allowed me to do.”

It’s not the past that coach Rady looks at but the present and the future. He simply enjoys the game and wants to continue to be a part of it.

“I enjoy coaching,” he said. “It’s a game I love and cherish so much.”

This statement would not be debated by anyone, especially long-time friend and assistant coach Jim Sharp, who was with coach Rady during his time at Bainbridge.

“We’re just lifelong friends,” Sharp said. “It is amazing that he has endured this long and still has the enthusiasm for the game after 50 years. You have to love the game to stay with it that long, and he does.”

There are many aspects of the game that the coach could say are great. “There’s nothing about the game I don’t love,” he said. But his favorite part is when a team’s players are playing so in tune with one another that they seem like one player on the floor. “When you see five players in one, to me that’s poetry in motion. It still gives me goose bumps and I love to see it.”

Coach Rady has seen some changes to the game over the years, and overall he feels the changes have been good.

He would also agree that he has changed a bit over the years. “If you talked to the players I coached 50 years ago, they would say I’ve mellowed,” he said. He said he ran his team more in the past and was much more demanding.

Perhaps the biggest support to his success has been his family. Coach Rady expressed how thankful he is for his wife, Margaret. “Being a coach’s wife is not the easiest,” he said.

But she has always been there to support him. “I’ve tried to do everything I can to help him have his dream,” she said. She explained that the years have been very exciting, with both ups and downs, and she has enjoyed it. She is also very popular with the boys, making cookies for them before a game.

Coach Rady also expressed how blessed he is to have his two sons, Patrick and Michael. “They are good husbands and fathers,” he said of his sons.

Patrick coaches alongside his father at Cloverdale, currently as the junior varsity coach. He also coached with his father for nine years at Terre Haute South before taking his own head coaching position for five years. He then came to Cloverdale where he is now in his sixth season with his father.

“Growing up, Friday nights were always special,” Patrick Rady said of his father. He explained that he has great feelings toward high school basketball because of his experiences with his father. “I had a lot of fond memories of high school basketball because of him.”

Through basketball, Patrick explained he has been able to meet many people.

“I knew at a young age that I wanted to be a coach,” Patrick said, adding that as a senior he was voted most likely to become a coach. And his father played a big part in his desire to be a coach. “I’ve been blessed. He’s included me in a lot of things,” he said of his dad.

Patrick spoke highly of the help he has always received from his father. “He’s always taken time to help me,” he said. He remembered a time when his team had suffered a tough loss and his dad spoke to his team for him. “They responded to him,” Patrick said, adding that his team went on a long winning streak after that.

Many people respond to coach Rady in this way, Patrick explained. His dad has a way about him that people respond well to. He says it’s because Coach Rady treats people with respect, and he has always been good with people.

This statement couldn’t be more true. Anyone who has contact with Coach Rady knows what a genuine man he is and they respect him.

If you would like to see this great Indiana high school basketball coach and Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer in action, his Cloverdale squad will be back in action this coming Friday night, December 20, at Monrovia. Tip-off is set for 7:30.

Pat Rady was a three-year varsity player at Roachdale, a two-year letterman at Hanover College and an honorary captain his senior year. He has gone on to coach varsity basketball at Bainbridge, Southmont, Winchester, Shelbyville, Terre Haute South, and Cloverdale. He has coached nineteen sectional championship teams, eight regional championships in four different decades, made four final eight appearances in three different semistates, and one final four. He also coached the 1989 Indiana All-Star Team, and has helped shape the high school careers of five Indiana All-Stars and two future NBA players during his storied career.

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