Prep football

Football coaching record book remains up in the air

2012-11-03T22:15:00Z 2012-11-20T23:39:13Z Football coaching record book remains up in the airSteve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com
November 03, 2012 10:15 pm  • 

There was a big party in New Prairie on Oct. 5. Several Griffith fans drove east to take in the Cougars' 48-0 win over LaVille.

At the time, it was believed to be Russ Radtke's 300th win. The John Harrell prep football website had the former Griffith coach's all-time record at 299 heading into the LaVille game.

But Harrell said later he did not know about three forfeited games Radtke had in 2003 at Griffith. So his number was adjusted.

In an email Harrell said: "The starting points for my records came mostly from Indiana Football Digest. Once I have a coach's record, I keep it according to my own records. Forfeits a lot of times get lost in the counting, especially if the forfeits are announced well after the season ends.

"The IFCA's list is probably more accurate. Indiana Football Digest's list also had Radtke with a 293-117 record going into this season, while the IFCA had him with 290 victories. The IFCA probably removed the three forfeits from their list, while I didn't."

Consequently, when New Prairie lost to South Bend Washington 36-14 in the Class 4A Sectional 10 semifinal, Radtke ended the season with 299 career wins.

The shishkebab party will have to wait until next season.

Pete Land, the executive director of the Indiana Football Coaches Association, echoed Harrell's point on record keeping for the coaches.

He wrote in an email: "I compile the list on the IFCA website from information I get from coaches at the end of each season. I also double check John's Harrell's site. With Russ, my guess would be that the forfeits were not reported to either of us. Many times I don't know about forfeits because they are only reported locally."

But there are other issues even on the IFCA list.

Munster coach Leroy Marsh is sitting at 199 wins. But the IFCA has him with 202 wins.

"I have 199," Marsh said. "I don't know for sure where they got 202. But I think I have an idea and it was a long time ago."

In 1983 and 1984, before the current all-in tournament, the cluster system was used. Marsh said his Mustangs were in the same cluster as Lake Central and Highland.

The three schools would play each other in the regular season. If you won both games you were declared the sectional champion. One year the games were split and a tie-breaker was used.

On Monday night, Munster lost the coin flip and had to play L.C. first in an overtime session. Munster won. The 'Stangs then had to play Highland in an overtime session. Munster won that, won the sectional, and played Hobart on Friday night in the regional.

Marsh believes he got credit for wins even though it wasn't a complete game.

"I really don't know how they get their numbers," he said.

Jason Wille of the IHSAA said he uses Harrell's site for milestones and the like and said that it has been very accurate.

Morton coach Roy Richards earned his 100th win in Hessville on Friday night as his Governors beat Highland to win their fourth straight sectional championship.

He is pretty sure his record is correct.

"That's nice," Richards said. "What makes it even nicer is we only won three games my first year here."

Attempts by The Times to reach Radtke for this story were unsuccessful.

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