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Bethel’s Steve Drabyn leads 2021 LaPorte HS Hubner Hall of Fame class

by | Aug 4, 2021 | Baseball, Basketball Blogs, Featured, Football Blogs | 0 comments

Prior to the Slicer varsity football game vs New Prairie on August 20th, the La Porte High School Athletic Department will induct Jim Dermody, Tom Dermody, Steve Drabyn, Steve Lowe and Terry Miller into the Hubner Hall of Fame.  Included in this email is information concerning each inductee.

Steve Drabyn was a varsity basketball player of great renown for LaPorte High School and Belmont University. He has also become a college coach currently headed for the same notoriety. After graduating from LPHS, he was a part of many all-time lists. He was first in 3 point shots made in a season with 93 and for a career with 226. He also was first with eleven 3 pointers made in one game. He also netted 51 points in one game, a record at that time. He was third in scoring with 1417 points. His teams won four sectional titles. His high school career concluded with his being chosen for the 2000 Indiana All-Star team. This and the fact that while at Belmont his senior year the team had a 21-9 record and a 78 RPI are two of his memorable athletic experiences. His senior season at Belmont the team beat two teams ranked in the top 25. As a high school and college student, Steve was also outstanding. He was a member of the National Honor Society while at LPHS and earned Academic All-Conference for three seasons at Belmont. He received the WC Griffith Outstanding Physical Education Award while at Belmont. Steve has a rather long timeline of career coaching stops as an assistant which includes a stint at Lipscomb where the team garnered a conference championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance. He is currently the head men’s basketball coach at Bethel University in Mishawaka, Indiana. His 2021 team earned a spot in the NAIA Elite 8 and a national ranking of 21st. Steve has had several influences on his athletic and coaching careers. This starts with his father Steve Sr. who taught him much about the game by watching and working with him. These times were filled with analyzing games and practices. He also appreciates the support he received from his mom. College coaches Rick Byrd and Casey Alexander were also impactful by doing things the right way and coaching him in a way that allowed him to use his strengths. Steve also gives credit to a former teammate and now rival coach Greg Tonagel for helping him develop as a player at LPHS and now as a coach. LaPorte, Indiana, is a special place for Steve as there are many great coaches, friends, and role models there. The athletic director at the time Ed Gilliland and his wife Marie were neighbors of Steve’s while he was growing up, and Steve feels they helped shape him as a young man. Steve is now the head men’s basketball coach at Bethel University in Mishawaka and he and his wife Brittany have four children: Grayson, Ava, Chloe, and Lily. They currently reside in Granger, Indiana.

Jim Dermody starred as a three sport athlete at LPHS lettering twice in football, twice in basketball, and three times in baseball. He was team MVP his senior season of basketball, and he received the Dr. Gardner Slicer Award and earned the “Best Blocker” Award his senior season of football. He was also the team MVP and Captain for the 1969-70 baseball team. Moving on to Valparaiso University, he lettered 3 times each in baseball and football. He was a three-year starter in each sport while at VU. Jim feels privileged to have played for some excellent coaches while at LaPorte. He mentions three in particular who were especially impactful: Ken Schreiber, Stan Klimczack, and John Kunze. He says each was demanding but fair and in doing so laid out clear expectations that each athlete was expected to meet. These coaches also, in Jim’s view, built confidence in their athletes to do difficult things and were fun to be around. Jim is a member Of both the LaPorte Slicer Football and Baseball Halls of Fame. After college Jim proudly spent 42 years in public education. He was the head varsity baseball coach for 23 years and an assistant football coach for 10 years. His 1988 Warsaw baseball team made it to the finals of the single-class state tournament. Jim spent time as both a building administrator and central office administrator for the LaPorte Community School Corporation and as a building administrator and the superintendent at the New Prairie United School Corporation. After retiring from New Prairie he served as an interim superintendent for Knox and Oregon Davis corporations. Jim and his wife Judie, a retired 45-year educator for the LaPorte Community Schools, reside in LaPorte and have three children Matt, Todd, and Sarah. They also currently have two grandchildren.

Steven Lowe was undoubtedly one of the most renowned golfers in LaPorte High School history. He was a four-year letter winner in golf and achieved many individual honors as well as helping his team excel. He was the team MVP for three of the four seasons he lettered. He was all Duneland Athletic Conference for multiple seasons. He was co-medalist his senior season in the conference tournament. His greatest accomplishment and what he considers his greatest memory is winning as an individual in the state tournament in 2001. He is quick to also point out that the team qualified as well for the state finals that year and finished eighth. He said the team was made up of not only good players but great people who were all good friends. The team that year finished 26-1 in the regular season. Steve often dreamed as a youngster of being that state champion, and he would practice as if he was competing in the state tournament. His high school coach Mike Hoke is much appreciated by Steve for letting him be himself on the course. Coach Hoke retired after that season and told the team that his biggest coaching thrill was Steve being the individual medalist at that state tournament. There were other influences on Steve’s career and life. He credits Matt Blair for coaching him throughout much of his playing career. He considers Matt a friend and a brother who was dedicated to helping Steve develop as a golfer. Bill Murray had a golf camp that Steve began attending at the age of 9. This experience taught Steve the love for the game. Steve also worked for Bill at Beechwood Golf Course and taught him much about how to be successful in the working world. Finally, Steve gives credit to his dad for always being there in good times and bad. He taught him to never “sell himself short” when things had gone awry. Steve currently resides in Sarasota, Florida, with his wife Sabrina and daughter London. He is a regional account executive for ServiceChannel.

Some great coaches once garnered great accolades for their own athletic achievements.  Some great coaches did not.  Terry Miller did not achieve greatness as an athlete but let there be no doubt of his greatness as a coach whose positive impact was/is undeniable on many athletes he coached during his 34-year teaching/coaching career for the LaPorte Community Schools.  For all of his 34-year teaching career, he coached wrestling at some level either as a paid coach or as a volunteer.  In addition while a teacher at LPHS, he was varsity girls track assistant and boys cross country coach.  He also coached numerous sports at the junior high/middle school level. He was the head varsity wrestling coach at LPHS for 6 years but spent many more years as a high school assistant and as a coach at lower levels.  During those 6 years as head coach, his teams had a 70-31 record and won 6 sectional titles and one regional title.  He believes today that an assistant can be just as impactful on an athlete as can a head coach.  This would explain why even after being the head coach he went back to the assistant level and even back to coaching at other lower levels.  All total he assisted in the coaching of 7 state wrestling champions.  While head coach he had at least one wrestler advance to the state tournament in each of his 6 years.  In addition to all of his coaching assignments, he ran the scoreboard for home football games at LPHS and served as the tournament director for the conference, sectional, and regional wrestling tournaments held at LPHS.  After 34 years in LaPorte, he and his wife Phoebe moved to Washburn, Wisconsin, where he taught and coached wrestling for another 4.5 years.  He was awarded the District 1 Distinguished Service Award chosen by the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association in 2020.  Terry lists many coaching influences including Larry McKeever and Joe Solmos who introduced him to wrestling when he was still a student at LPHS.  He also mentions Chuck Ford and Tom Cota who mentored him as a beginning coach.  Terry considers himself blessed to have had so many who have guided him during his coaching career.  Terry and Phoebe have four sons:  Matt, Paul, Rob, and Kevin along with two grandsons.

Tom Dermody was an eight-time letter winner for LaPorte High School in the early 1980’s. He lettered three times each in football and basketball and twice in baseball. In the Duneland Athletic Conference, he was chosen all-conference in baseball and football for the 1983-84 athletic season. He was the Co-MVP his senior season in basketball as well. He was chosen the Kiwanis Club Male Athlete of the Year his senior year. While playing his two seasons of varsity baseball, his teams went 60-9-1. The 1983 team, of which Tom is especially proud to have been a part, had a 25 game winning streak. His personal pitching stats for his two years on the varsity were a 19-3 record along with a 1.44 ERA. He also led the team in RBI’s his senior season. After high school he received a scholarship to Purdue and was a team member from 1985-87. Tom feels fortunate to have played for three quality coaches at the varsity level: Bob Strieter, Joe Otis, and Ken Schreiber. Tom appreciates Coach Schreiber’s high standards for the baseball program which required players to give 110% to everything they did. Tom also values Coach Greg Fruth who coached Tom in football from 8th grade through his senior year. Coach Fruth had high expectations both on the field and in the classroom. Tom resides in LaPorte with his wife Jackie. They have two children, Katie and Ben. He was a business owner and now serves the public in the city of LaPorte. He has served as state representative at the Indiana Statehouse, a local school board member, and currently serves as mayor of LaPorte.