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Remembering Dick Baumgartner

The following article appearing in The Paper of Montgomery County on Monday, July 10, 2017:

Dick Baumgartner who led the Crawfordsville Athenians to their last trip to the State Finals in 1958 passed away late Monday night at the age of 85. Affectionately called Baumy by his many fans, but just Coach by his players leaves an indelible legacy at Crawfordsville and Richmond High School.

After graduating from Indiana University where he lettered for two years under the legendary Hoosier coach, Branch McCracken, Baumgartner made only three stops in his 20 year coaching career. He coached at Roachdale in 1955-56 before moving to Crawfordsville for 6 years and Richmond for 19 years. Opposing players rarely notice the coach of the other team whether they are legends or beginners, but I remember that we played the Roachdale Hawks when I was a senior playing for the Ladoga Canners. We traditionally played Roachdale twice since the two towns were only 5 miles apart. In the first game of my senior year, we beat Roachdale badly 77-49. When we played them 9 games later, we beat them 30-29 on a last second shot. Looking back, I could see that Dick Baumgartner had already begun to work his magic offensively and defensively.

Coach Baumgartner was inducted into the Crawfordsville Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

Coach Baumgartner was also inducted into the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame and the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Here is his profile from the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Mike Lopresti who was a student manager under Baumgartner and later covered the Richmond Red Devils for the local paper, wrote, “Two words come to mind—one was passion, because that’s what he had for the game, and number two was teaching. He could teach the game. He put those two together and I think that’s why he was successful year in and year out.”

Baumgartner was 350-135 all-time in 20 seasons as head coach with 17 sectional titles, nine regional titles and four North Central Conference titles.

At Crawfordsville, Dick Baumgartner had a record of 105-50 placing him third on the list of all-time winning coaches at CHS. He had a winning percentage of .677. His Athenian teams won 5 sectionals, 1 regional, and 1 semi-state leading his team to a runner-up spot in the 1958 State Tournament. One of his stars was Dick Haslam who played for two legendary coaches in Baumgartner and Paul D.

“Tony” Hinkle at Butler University. Haslam said, “Coach Baumgartner was like a father to me and to the players that he coached. It was his influence that made me the teacher and coach that I was. I will miss him greatly.”

Haslam speaks for all the members of the Crawfordsville athletic community and especially the members of the 1958 Athenian basketball team.

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