BOONE: History of New Ross Basketball: The coaches — Part Two
April 16, 2019
Keith Greve was the next New Ross coach, following Tom Spear, and guided the Bluejays to a 52-9 record which is the highest winning percentage in school history at .863. Greve’s team won the County in 1961, the sectional in 1961 and 1962 and the regional in 1961. The Bluejays were led that year by the second of the Haffner boys, Phillip, who ended up eighth in the career scoring list with 731 points. He had the highest scoring average of all Bluejay players with an average of 16.6 ppg. The Jays won the County, sectional, and regional in 1961, posting a record of 25-2. They were really deep that year as they got solid contributions from Bill Evans, Ronnie Youngs, Garry Moore, Dan Isenberg, Phil Haffner, Alan Norris, Charlie Frederick, and Bob McAnulty.
After leaving New Ross, Keith Greve moved to Danville and then to Greensburg where he ended his Hall of Fame career.
‘Keith Greve three year starter for Waveland…leading scorer and MVP junior and senior year…four year starter for Hall of Famer Tony Hinkle…leading scorer sophomore and junior years…MVP 1953…All Indiana Collegiate Conference First Team three times...received Hilton U. Brown Mental Attitude Award senior year…All Decade Team 1950’s…inducted into Butler Athletic Hall of Fame 1999…Head coach for 15 years at New Ross, Danville, and Greensburg…Athletic Director at Greensburg for 27 years.’
Jim Clack was the assistant coach to Keith Greve in 1961-62 and took over the head job after Greve departed for Danville. Clack stayed one year, posting a record of 21-9 and won the county tourney. After leaving New Ross, Clack went to Bremen where he coached for three years while continuing his education at Purdue. He had a record of 38-30 at Bremen and won the LaVille Sectional in 1966. After receiving his Doctorate degree, Clack made stops at Illinois State, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Virginia before settling at Duke where he retired in June of 2005.
Bernie Burk was a 1955 graduate of New Ross and starred on the 1954 team which won the first sectional in school history. He would return to coach the Bluejay athletic teams after stops at Dale, Heritage Hills, and Mitchell. The Jays were 44-21 during Burk’s three year tenure. Bernie Burk would then go to Switzerland County where he finished his career with some outstanding teams. In his thirteen year career with the Switzerland County Pacer, Burk had a record of 131-187 with two sectional championships (1975 and 1988) and one conference championship (1982).
Two other coaches are worthy of note. Gale Grimes coached the Bluejays in the middle 40s when Howie Williams was leading the County in all areas. The Jays were 32-9 in Grimes’ tenure for an outstanding winning percentage of .780. Max Barnett following Grimes and posted a 14-27 mark as he had to start over after the Howie Williams era. Barnett stayed at New Ross for about 15 years and developed the young talent which became so successful in high school. Mr. Barnett coached at every level, beginning with fifth and ending as varsity assistant. The New Ross players who played under Mr. Barnett, as all the boys called him, credited him with instilling the basic fundamentals of the game and developing the attitude necessary to compete at the high level that they would later attain.
Bill Boone is a local sports historian who contributes to the Journal Review.