team had not been off to a blazing start that season, but, led by Chestnut, the Purple Eagles started to hit their stride as soon as that tournament began.
Chestnut will also be remembered by many as the basketball coach at Honey Creek High School
, Washington, Brazil and at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
.That's where Stu has been for the past 30 years. His
health has not been good, and he's
walking with the aid of crutches, but one thing that has not changed is his
good-natured personality as he
recalled many stories from his
days in Indiana.
The names of Bill Welch and Willard Kehrt
will be put on a permanent plaque that will be displayed in Memorial Stadium.
...Kehrt graduated from Shelbyville High School and played basketball for Coach Everett Dean at Indiana University.
and some of his
former players have been inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
...Willard Kehrt was his basketball coach.
That was sort of a surprise," recalled Kehrt
"We didn't shoot as much in those days," noted Kehrt
"Gordon, Ronnie and I got together a couple of years ago in Florida," noted Kehrt
Joining "Disch" at the ceremony were his wife Mary, mother Clara and high school coach Willard Kehrt
, among others.
first coach was his
father, the late Donas Dischinger, who was a head coach in football and baseball at Garfield and assisted Kehrt
...In his 26 years at Garfield High School, Kehrt served as the basketball, track and field, golf and tennis coach, as well as assistant football coach, physical education teacher and assistant principal for a time.
It is the basketball accomplishments for which Kehrt
is most remembered - a 69-percent winning percentage through 29 years as a head coach; 450 wins in 653 career games; four Wabash Valley Tournament championships; six Western Indiana Athletic Conference championships; and, in the Indiana High School Athletic Association
Tournament: 11 sectional championships, four regional championships, two semistate championships and a runner-up banner from the 1947 state tournament.
"I went to Indiana on a baseball scholarship," said Kehrt
, who played three years in both sports.
While at Bloomington, Kehrt
received the Balfour Award for basketball for being the most outstanding player and, in 1935, the Gimbel Award for mental attitude which included all sports at IU. After graduating from college, he taught and coached for three years at Madison High School before coming to Terre Haute and Garfield in 1938.
Despite all the different teams that he
coached, it is easy for Kehrt
to pick out his
most talented basketball squad - the one that almost won the IHSAA Tournament."The best team I had was in 1947. [Clyde] Lovellette was the center," Kehrt
"The team was undefeated [31-0] going into that final all game and could have been the first team in Indiana to go undefeated and win the tournament," said Kehrt
In all his
years of coaching, Kehrt
has built up a plethora of stories, but none is more tickling than the one about the time he
won an overtime game by using the game of keepaway as his
"We were playing Vincennes down at Vincennes.Back in those games if they fouled you, you could either take the ball out of bounds or shoot the free throws," said Kehrt
, moving to the edge of his
seat to continue the story.
Despite having teams with more talent and ability, it was his
1963 team - one that was struggling well below the .500 mark in January - that Kehrt
is proudest of - and rightfully so, for it could also be called a testament to the coaching ability of a man who always gave his
players credit first."We just had a so-so team.It was a young ball club," said Kehrt
of that squad.
team was really fired up about their victory, but not as much as Terre Haute
"That was the big deal.When we came back, all of Wabash Avenue was on fire," said Kehrt
, with his
trademark twinkle in his
eyes."One of the stores at Sixth and Wabash was burning.
...Kehrt retired from coaching in 1964, and finished his teaching career serving as an assistant principal at Terre Haute South for seven years after the 1971 reorganization.
I had a lot of fun just competing when I was growing up, and Coach Kehrt
was definitely a big part in my success."