District 14 Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame
On Feb. 19th, 2006, the coaches of District 14 unanimously voted to induct the 1st Class into the District 14 Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established to recognize coaches who have made significant contributions to the sport of basketball in southern Ohio. These coaches have met and exceeded the requirements established by the members of the District 14 coaches.
The Hall of Fame committee has established two categories for induction into the Hall. Each person must meet the minimum requirements before being considered as a candidate for the Hall of Fame.
- Varsity Head Coach for twenty (20) years. (with at least 5 years in District 14)
- 225 Varsity Wins
- Member of the OHSBCA for the last ten (10) years.
- Coached in the District 14 All-Star game.
- Achieved tournament success
- Retired from active coaching for 1 full season before being nominated for the Hall of Fame.
- Person who has contributed to the development of the sport of basketball in a coaching or non-coaching capacity. These candidates may include school personnel, school administration, district officials, media personnel, former coaches, etc.
Class of 2016
Rick Hopkins (Portsmouth, Portsmouth East, Notre Dame)
25 year coaching career
Portsmouth East High School 1981-1999
Portsmouth High School 2001-2006
Notre Dame High School 2008-2010
Overall record 307 wins 243 losses
7 Sectional Championships
3 District Championships
1 Regional Runner-up
6 SOC Division 1 Championships
5 time SOC Division 1 Coach of the year
4 time Southeast AP District Coach of the year
- 4 time District 14 Coach of the Year
2 time Coach of the Ohio/KY All Star game
Coach of the North/South All Ohio Game
Class of 2015
Tom Barrick (Wheelersburg, Eastern Pike)
Class of 2014
- 27 years of Head Coach Experience
- 14 sectional championships, 8 district titles and three trips to the Final Four
- 1994-1995 State Runner Up
- 2006 & 2007 Final Four
- OHSBCA Coach of the Year in 2006, 2001 Ohio North/South All-Star Game coach, 1998 assistant coach with OHSBCA Hall of Fame coach, Doc Daughtery in the Ohio/Kentucky All-Star Game
- Named Southeastern District Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2007
- District 14 Director from 1999-2006
- 2006 he was elected as an executive officer which culminated with his serving as OHSBCA President from 2010-13
- Selected to serve on the executive board of the National High School Basketball Coaches Association
- Serves on the Board of Directors with the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame
Joe B. Stewart (Piketon, Hillsboro, Chillicothe, Greenfield McClain)
- 30 years of Head Coaching experience
- 299-221 career record
- 1989 Division II AP COY, 3 time AP Southeast District COY, 8 time District 14 All Star game coach
Class of 2013
John Strickland (Minford)
- 21 years of Head Coaching Experience
- 2 SOC championships, 7 Sectional Championships, 2 District Championships, 1995 Regional Runner Up
- 1995 Southeast District COY
Class of 2012
Richard Kiser (Eastern Brown)
- 33 years of Head Coaching Experience
- Overall record of 604-167
- 20 SHL titles, 19 Sectional Championships, 10 District Championships, 3 Regional Championships, 3 Final Four Appearances
- State Runner-Up 2000
- SHL Coach of the Year 11 Times, 9 Time District COY , 2 Time AP COY, 2 Time OHSBCA COY & 1 OHSAA COY
- Selected to coach the Ohio-Kentucky Game, the Ohio-West Virginia game and the North-South game
- Selected to represent the State of Ohio as the NFHS Coach of the Year
- Inducted into the Ohio Girls Basketball Magazine Hall of Fame as well as the Brown County Hall of Fame
- Received the Bob Arnzen Longevity Award and the Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Awards from the OHSBCA
Class of 2011
Larry Jordan (Southeastern, Waverly, Jackson High Schools)
-39 years of Head Coaching Experience
-Overall Record of 586-297
-15 League Championships (5 undefeated), 19 Sectional Championships, 10 District Championships, 3 Regional Championships, 3 Final Four Appearances
-SVC Coach of the Year 15 Times
-District Coach of the Year-Multiple Times (5)
-North/South Coach 1981
-Won Paul Walker Award 2008
-Inducted into the OHSBCA Hall of Fame in April 2011
Class of 2010
Rick VanMatre – Greenfield McClain H.S.
-28 years of Head Coaching Experience (All at McClain)
-Overall Record of 472-168
-7 League Championships, 17 Sectional Championships, 8 District Championships, 3 Regional Runner-ups
-State Coach of the Year 1982 and 2007
-AP Coach of the Year 2007 and AP State Champions 2007
-District Coach of the Year-Multiple Times
-North/South Coach 1987
-Ohio/Kentucky Coach -2000
-2 Undefeated Seasons 1987-2007
Class of 2008
Ron Lovely, Unioto High School
Ron Lovely ( Unioto High School) Ron began his coaching at Bishop Flaget High School in 1976 where he spent 10 successful season. He then moved on to Piketon High School for 1 year and then spent 16 years at the helm of Unioto High School. Ron’s teams have won 4 League Championships, 8 Sectional Championships, 1 District Championship, 1 Regional Championship, and 1 State Semi-finalist. He also coached one team that finished the regular season undefeated. Ron was also voted League Coach of the Year 3 times during his career. He finished his career with an overall record of 342-268.
Class of 2008
Ernie Blankenship – Radio Announcer WSRW
Ernie Blankenship. Ernie is known as “the sports voice” in southern Ohio. He has been broadcasting high school sports for almost 50 years and over 3400 games on WSRW out of Hillsboro. Besides his broadcasting Ernie has done numerous projects in the area to help the less fortunate in our area. Ernie has coordinated with NCB Bank and Clear Channel Radio to Award over $13,000 in scholarships to area athletes. He has also helped raise 2.2 million dollars for the society for handicapped children.
Class of 2007
Art Meyers – Peebles High School
Art Meyers ( Peebles High School) Art coached at Peebles from 1974-1986. His record there was 234-58. He was 30-13 in tournament play and 113-19 in the Southern Hills League. Art won 8 sectional championships and 2 district championships. He was named AP Southeast District Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1981. Art finished his career coaching at Wilmington High School in the Southwest District. He finished his career with an overall record of 278-100.
Class of 2007
Tom Newman – Peebles High School
Tom Newman ( Peebles High School) Tom coached at Peebles from 1979-1995. His overall record was 265-110. He won 9 sectional championships and 3 district championships during his tenure. During that period of time he also won 5 Southern Hills League Championships. Tom was named AP Southeast Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1987 and State Coach of the Year in 1987.
Class of 2007
Jim “Snuffy” Smith- WNXT Radio Announcer
Jim “Snuffy” Smith. Jim is currently in his 28 th year broadcasting boys high school basketball games on WNXT out of Portsmouth. He has called over 850 basketball games in that time span. He has also served as the host of Saturday Morning SportsLine during the same period of time. Jim also officiated basketball games for 32 years. Jim served as coach at Sciotoville East High School for 17 seasons collecting 4 Southern Ohio Conference championships, 3 sectional titles, and 1 district title.
District 14 Hall of Fame
Class of 2006
Tom Cuppett, Chillicothe HS
Coach Tom Cuppett’s teams won six league, 14 sectional, three regional and one state (Sisterville – 1965) championships. Playerson on Cuppett’s teams earned recognition as well: 14 players selected to play in post season All-Star games, three named Players of the Year in the state, including High School All-American Mike Carson, and 19 players received college scholarships.
From 1964 through 1968, his teams won 79 and lost 23 at Sisterville, West Virginia, and he coached the North squad in the West Virginia North-South Cage Classic. In 1965, 1968 and 1970 Cuppett was LKAC Coach of the Year.
In 1973 and 1974, he was named Central Oho Conference Coach of the Year from Chillicothe. At Chillicothe his teams won 188 and lost 69 during his twelve years there. Named Southeastern District Coach of the Year six times in 12 years, he won Coach of the Year in 13 of his 16 years as head coach. He was head coach of the AAA South All-Stars in the 1978-79 Ohio North-South Cage Classic.
He also serve as head football coach for four years, with a record of 25 wins and 13 losses. In a single school year, 1967-68, his football team was 7-3; basketball team 24-2; and golf 20-6, for a total of 51 wins 11 defeats, earning him the Wayne Underwood Coach of the Year.
An outstanding high school and college athlete himself, Tom Cuppett earned recognition in basketball and football. He was selected NAIA Football All-American his senior year at Salem College, and in 1974 was named to the All-Time West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Football Team.
Other honors included Sisterville Jaycee Man of the Year in 1966 and 1968, Tyler County Teacher of the Year in Social Studies in 1968, Friend of Youth Award from the Columbus-Worthington Optimist Club three times, four Chillicothe Mayor’s Proclamations, and four Ohio House of Representative Proclamations from District 8.
Married for 30 years, he and Delberta have two sons, Jeffrey and Scott, and daughter, Theresa Speakman, and grandchildren Jonathan and Sara. Cuppett retired January 1, 1993, after serving 14 years as Athletic Director at Chillicothe.
Class of 2006
CD Hawee, Waverly HS
Carroll Dwight “CD” Hawhee graduated from Cannelton High School in Indiana and received degree from Morehead State University and Xavier University. CD spent his entire coaching career at Waverly High School, 1947-1979 – 32 years during which he accumulated 477 wins and 214 losses. His championships included 4 Sectionals, 6 Districts and 1 Regional. CD was active in the OHSBCA, serving as President from 1975-77.
Coach Hawhee, also established himself as a great football coach along with track, golf and baseball – winning the state title in baseball in 1954. In 1973, CD was named AP Coach of the Year in basketball. In 1978, he received the coveted Paul Walker Award and in 1982 was inducted into the Naismith National Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Class of 2006
George Heller , Portsmouth HS
George graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1939 and from Western Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree (1947) and a master’s degree (1948). His Portsmouth teams won 269 with 114 on the other side while playing in the very tough Greater Ohio League (Hamilton, Middletown, Springfield, and Lima). That is a winning percentage of 70.2%. His teams won five league, ten district, one regional and one State Championship (1961). District Championships were in 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1967. George’s 1961 team provided him with the highlights of his coaching career as they defeated Urbana 50-44 to win the State AA Title and earn him Coach of the Year award.
He served as Vice President of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association for four years and was District Director for six years.
George played at Western Kentucky on a scholarship under the legendary Ed Diddle. His college career was interrupted by World War II when George spent 44 months in the South Pacific. Coach Heller returned to Portsmouth in 1947 and served as reserve coach for Bill Rohr for four years to begin his coaching career. He also served as an assistant football coach and head baseball coach. In 1951, Coach Heller took over the boys program. He was Ohio Coach of the Year in 1961 and named to coach the South team in the annual North-South All-Star game that same year.
In addition to coaching basketball, he served as an official in football, volleyball and basketball. His 1951 baseball team was the first team from Portsmouth to reach the state semifinals. George was Assistant Principal at Portsmouth High School for eight years. He is a full fledged Kentucky Colonel and active in the American Legion, Elks, Masonic Lodge and Christ Community Church.
George’s wife Faye passed away in 1973 after 23 years of marriage. He has three sons, Dave an Ohio State University graduate who is a supervisor at Yellowstone National Park, Jeff, an Ohio State University graduate who works for the city of Columbus and Chris also an Ohio State University graduate as an insurance executive in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Class of 2006
Arch Justus , Portsmouth Clay HS
In coaching there is no ‘secret method’ to use. Sometimes we forget where an idea came from, but take what works best for an individual and move forward from there.
Arch Justus graduated from Bloom Local High School, South Webster, Ohio in 1946. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Cedarville College in 1950 and a Master’s Degree in School Administration from Morehead State University in 1968. Arch participated in basketball and baseball both in high school and college.
Justus began his teaching career in 1950 as a mathematics teacher the Clay Local School District in Scioto County. He became a registered basketball official and baseball umpire during this period. He accepted his first coaching position in 1953 as the basketball and baseball coach in McDermott High School in Scioto County. His basketball team the first year won the school’s first league and tournament championship in 29 attempts. McDermott High School was a member of the “Sweet Sixteen” in 1955. After leaving McDermott High School, he coached two years at Oak Hill.
Coach Justus returned to Portsmouth Clay in 1958 and remained there for 25 years. He also coached a year at Minford in 1983-84. After his retirement from active duties in school administration in 1983, he complete his coaching career at Lucasville Valley where his cherished 500th win was recorded in January 1986.
During 33 years of active coaching, Justus’ teams compiled a record of 532 wins and 220 losses, including 18 league/conference titles, 20 county/sectional and six district tournament championships. His teams appeared in four regional finals and one state tournament in 1969. He serves as a member of the South coaching staff in the 1969 North-South All-Star game. He was also selected SE District Coach of the Year three times, and received the Life Member Award in 1987 to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. Arch had the unusual experience of serving as a head basketball coach while serving as a math teacher, a high school principal, a local superintendent and after his retirement as a school administrator!
Arch and wife Joann, an elementary teacher, reside in Portsmouth Ohio have two sons, Jeff and John.
Class of 2006
Gary Shaffer , Washington Court House HS
There are only a handful of coaches in Ohio High School history who have achieved more wins than Coach Shaffer of Washington Court House. Throughout his 36-year career, his teams were synonymous with winning as they collected 561 wins with a 70.6% winning average.
Gary began his basketball career as a walk on at West Virginia University in 1962. After graduation he took his first coaching job in Easton, Maryland, establishing a record of 23-0 and winning the state championship. The next year he and his family moved to Ohio where he spent 29 years of the next 35 years coaching in Washington CH. Thirteen years into his career he left to pursue a position at Cross Lanes Christian School near Charleston WV where he compiled a record of 122-23 in six years.
However, it was in Washington CH that he put together a record of 416-210. In addition to winning a total of 561 games in his career, he won one state championship, 3 regional runner-ups, 5 district championships, 13 sectional titles and 7 league championships. He was named 9 times his league’s Coach of the Year, 5 times District Coach of the Year and the Division II Coach of the Year in 2001.
Coach Shaffer had many great players over the years, but it was his ability to get the most out of his players and playing a tenacious team defense that brought success to the program. Most of the practice time was devoted to defense and Court House is well known for the “mixer” defense. He accomplished this through his motto “Attitude is Everything” and his belief that basketball can teach one a lot about himself and how to handle life situations in a positive way, success will come if you work hard, be unselfish and don’t complain.
The wins and championships were wonderful, but Gary’s greatest joy came in coaching his four sons, Gary, Grant, Greg and Gale. Anyone who knows Coach Shaffer knows that he attributes his success and longevity to his faith and trust in Jesus Christ and to his wife of 36 years, Jean. Gary says, “In addition to keeping statistics for the team she has kept me in line since high school.” Gary and Jean are exceptionally proud of their family: Gary and Jill, Grant and Sharon, Greg and Shayne, Gale and Megan, and grandchildren Brooke, Brian, Abigail, Jonathon, Courtney, Lee, Samuel and Mackenzie. Gary is a member of Fayette Bible Church and has served as a deacon and member of the school board of Fayette Christian School. He is grateful for the support of his community and believes it is a big reason for the success of the program. He has touched many lives through his coaching and taught not only the game of basketball but the game of life.
Class of 2006
Henderson “Heckie” Thompson, Western HS
Henderson “Heckie” Thompson graduated from Stockdale High School and Morehead State University. His 21 year coaching career was devoted to Western High School where he won 303 games and lost 159. During his tenure at Western, Coach Thompson captured numerous titles including: 4 League, 4 Sectional, 3 District and 1 Regional. He was Southeastern Coach of the Year in 1968 and 1971. Heckie was Ohio AP and UPI Coach of the Year in 1968 when his team went undefeated during the regular season. He also coached the North-South All-Star Game in 1968. “Heckie” was active in the OHSBCA serving as District 14 Director for 16 years. Heckie’s wife, Nancy, currently resides in Waverly, Ohio