Spencer Greer said he can finally tell his daughter Amy that he has caught up with her.
Greer, a 1956 Morton grad, will enter the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame tonight after 35 years as an educator, coach and athletic director at Spohn Middle School in Hammond.
His daughter Amy, was a volleyball and track and field standout at Bishop Noll, and volleyball standout at Valparaiso University. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
"I told her she can't tease me about that anymore," said Greer, who has been married to his wife, Carol, for 50 years and also have two sons, Keith and Tim, plus three grandchildren.
"I made it and this is a great honor, not just for me, but for everyone from my generation. My class, we were the first to go for years at Morton when it became a four-year high school."
Before that, Morton went to the 10th grade, with students transferring to Hammond High for 11th grade.
Greer played football for Maurey Zlotnik at Morton and also basketball. He walked on to Southeast Missouri State then joined the Marine Corps and was stationed in Long Beach, Calif.
Greer taught a year in Fithian, Ill., then completed his degree at Indiana State after spending a year at St. Joseph's College (now Calumet College) when it was in East Chicago.
He started at what was then a new Spohn Middle School. He coached various sports and served as the school's athletic director. Greer had the distinction of starting at the school when it opened and retired when it closed in 2002.
"A lot of people thought I was crazy for wanting to coach middle school kids, teenagers," Greer said. "I loved it. I had a great time at Spohn and we had great kids and great teachers and coaches."
The kids at that age were developing socially and physically.
"That is the age where you can really teach and influence," Greer said. "We had 1,000 kids in 6th, 7th and 8th grads. In football, we had 100 kids out and equipment for just 60. Man, did we have the talent come through that school."
A few years later, Eggers Middle School opened and several kids went there. Spohn fed Hammond, Hammond Tech and Clark high schools.
"Thirty-five years at Spohn, I can't complain," Greer said.