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Teagle named District Coach of the Year

COACH: Huntington North boys basketball head coach Craig Teagle was named as one of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association District Coaches of the Year after guiding the Vikings through a record-setting 2018–19 season.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) has selected Huntington North boys basketball head coach Craig Teagle as one of its District Coaches of the Year.

Though a formal announcement regarding all of the IBCA District Coaches of the Year has not yet been released, the IBCA plans to release their announcement this week.

“I think (it is a) really great honor because, obviously, it means that your team performed very well and executed very well,” Teagle said. “Also, it’s voted on by your peers in the coaching profession that you respect, so I think those kind of honors are really significant and do mean a lot.”

Teagle was selected as one of six total District Coach of the Year recipients and one of just two in District I, which encompasses the north section of Indiana. According to the IBCA, two coaches from each of the three IHSAA districts are selected each year for the award. The IBCA has presented a coach of the year award every season dating back to 1972–73.

Teagle earned the honor after leading the Vikings to a 22–5 record this season. The campaign was one for the record books for Huntington North, as the team established new program records for overall wins (22) and wins in a regular season (19) along with winning their first Sectional championship since 2001.

“With his style of play, he (gets) players to accept their role,” said IBCA Executive Director Steve Witty. “This year was probably one of his more talented teams. … They made a run in the tournament and then just ran into a really, really good team. Coaches, I think, can control two things. They can control preparation and they can control effort. Craig does a good job of holding his players accountable.”

The Vikings’ Sectional championship victory also gave Teagle the 400th victory of his career, making him one of just 22 current coaches to accomplish the feat in Indiana high school boys basketball.

Overall, Teagle has racked up a 400–219 record in 27 years of coaching at Caston, Knox, Jay County and Huntington North, including a 74–29 mark behind the Vikings’ bench since coming to Huntington for the 2015–16 season. Teagle has guided Huntington North to two Northeast 8 Conference championships during his four seasons with the Vikings.

Throughout Teagle’s career, his teams have won seven Sectional championships, one Regional title and one Semi-State championship.

“He gets a lot of votes each year,” Witty said. “That’s the type of respect he has as a coach across our state, not just in District I, but across the state. … He’s a great student of the game, for one thing. He has a great passion for the tradition of high school basketball. He’s (an) outstanding teacher of the game. He teaches the kids the fundamentals to make it possible for them to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. He’s been able to do that without always being blessed without an overwhelming amount of talent. He does a great job of getting the best out of the material that he has so that they can be as competitive as possible. I think the coaches across the state see that and they respect that. … People appreciate his coaching ability and his coaching style.”

Witty praised Teagle’s desire for consistent excellence on the court each year and believes Teagle does an excellent job at building great basketball programs, most recently at Huntington North.

Witty also stressed that part of what makes Teagle such an effective coach is his character.

“Besides all of the positive qualities he has, he’s even a better person,” Witty said. “He’s just a great guy. You like to see guys like that be successful.”

Teagle is just the second Huntington North boys basketball head coach to receive the honor. Marvin Tudor won the award in its second year of existence during the 1973–74 season. The IBCA also selects coaches of the year for girls basketball, with Fred Fields being the lone coach in Huntington North girls basketball history to receive the honor, doing so for three consecutive seasons in 1993–94, 1994–95 and 1995–96.

The recognition is the second of its kind for Teagle in his esteemed career, as he earned the honor in 2009 while coaching at Jay County, a school within District II.