Hannah, Miles and Pierce to honored for contributions to basketball on April 26
Three men will receive special presentations during the 2019 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association annual clinic next month.
John Glenn boys’ head coach Travis Hannah will be recognized with a Point Guard College Transformational Coach award as presented by the IBCA. In addition, Jeffersonville boys’ assistant Clark Miles and Crawfordsville boys’ assistant Danny Pierce will receive awards as IBCA Assistant Coaches of the Year.
This is the third year for the PGC Transformation Coach award, which is presented to a coach who has impacted the lives of his players and fellow coaches at his school and within his community. The recipients is a coach who is respected by his players and fellow coaches for his dedication, positive approach and integrity on and oﬀ the court.
This is the second year that the IBCA is recognizing assistant coaches with an award. The awards are going to coaches who have contributed in a significant way to their respective schools’ programs for a number of years.
Hannah, Miles and Pierce will be honored at the 2019 IBCA Clinic on April 26 at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. The full clinic runs April 26-27. Clinic fees are $50 for IBCA members and $100 for non-IBCA members.
More information on the three coaches to be honored follows.
Transformational Coach: Travis Hannah, John Glenn
Travis Hannah lost a key member of the John Glenn program in the summer of 2018, Zac Mago. Zac was entering his season not only as the team’s best player, but arguably its leader and hardest worker. Zac passed away unexpectedly, his absence having a huge impact on the Falcons’ program.
Hannah did a remarkable job of helping his players overcome the loss of their friend and teammate. Not only did they have success on the court with a 10-13 record and winning the championship of the Bi-County Tournament, his players continued to work hard and bonded together through the experience. Coach Hannah is the major reason because of his example and the mentoring he has provided.
Hannah has coached at John Glenn for 12 years and has influenced many of his players on and off the court. His teams are known for playing hard and playing “the right way,” according to Ryan Bales, the coach at Plymouth who nominated Hannah.
“Coach Hannah did an unbelievable job of keeping perspective when facing adversity,” Bales said. “Obviously the situation of losing a key four-year performer would be enough, but there are so many examples where he shows integrity and stays positive. He keeps a proper perspective on life no matter what kind of season his team has. I have a lot of respect for him with the way he carries himself on the court as a competitor and as a man off the court. He is a dedicated husband and father as well.”
Hannah is a 1992 graduate of Triton High School and a 1996 graduate of Bethel College. In 20 seasons as a varsity coach, his teams have a 223-224 record.
Hannah began his coaching career at Brandywine High School in Niles, Mich., in 1999. He spent three seasons at Brandywine (27-37), winning one district championship. He moved to Oregon-Davis in 2002, guiding the Bobcats for five seasons (66-52) with a stint that capped by a 27-1 season and the Class A state championship in 2006-07. He is 130-135 in 12 seasons at John Glenn.
Hannah and his wife, Christin, have two children – Brycen, 14, and Bryley, 11.
IBCA Assistant Coach of the Year: Clark Miles, Jeffersonville
Clark Miles has impacted the lives of boys’ basketball players in Jeffersonville for the past 42 years.
Players have come and gone, but Coach Miles has maintained a level of trust and respect with all players over the decades. He is inspirational and motivating today, Red Devils head coach Joe Luce said, as he was 29 years ago when he officially joined the coaching staff at Jeffersonville.
Coach Miles expects discipline and respect from his players, but he also sees the big picture and has expectations for them to become productive young adults and successful men.
During practice, he helps instruct a help-side defensive drill or finishing at the rim. After practice, he sits with players to encourage them to stay positive and build on what they learned that day while reminding them that they are valued and loved.
“Clark is a teacher, mentor and friend,” Luce said. “He teaches players daily the fundamentals of the game and holds them accountable for the small things. More importantly, he teaches the players things such as how to tie a tie, shake hands while making eye contact and to always thank others for acts of kindness.”
Miles is a graduate of Jeffersonville High School and a life-long resident of the city where worked for many years as a fireman. He also has helped young people at elementary schools, junior high schools, community centers and the YMCA.
Other testimonials about Coach Miles were provided by former head coaches Mike Broughton and Tim LaGrange, fellow assistant coach Rodney Carver, former player and current assistant coach Cory Norman, and former players Phil Caldwell, Joe Estes and Sherron Wilkerson.
“Coach Miles always has been there for me and my teammates,” Norman said. “As a youth and as an adult, he always has our back. He has played a major role in the success of many JHS athletes. Great mentor and coach.”
Wilkerson, now the varsity coach at Shawe Memorial High School, described Miles as a standard by which excellence is measured.
“Coach Miles is a pillar of the community who has been an outstanding public servant,” Wilkerson said. “His broad knowledge of sports has allowed him to shape the lives of a myriad of student-athletes in multiple sports.”
LaGrange, now superintendent of Southwest County Schools, said Miles epitomizes everything that is good about coaching.
“He loves kids, he loves the game, he loves Jeff, and I love him,” LaGrange said. “He has been a pillar of Jeff basketball for years, through multiple head coaches. His loyalty is unmatched, and he has used the game to teach life lessons and help boys become men.”
IBCA Assistant Coach of the Year: Danny Pierce, Crawfordsville
Danny Pierce has impacted the lives of countless young people for the past 40 years. He taught and coached at Western Boone for 35 years and has been a boys’ basketball assistant coach at Crawfordsville for the past five years.
At Western Boone, Coach Pierce coached varsity and JV basketball, varsity and JV baseball as well as being a long-time member of the football staff. He also coached JV softball, junior high football, junior high cross country and junior high track at different points. Known as “The Mayor” in Thorntown, Coach Pierce’s basketball teams at WeBo won a conference title in 1993, three consecutive sectional championships from 1996 through 1998 plus regional crown in 1998.
In 2014, Coach Pierce moved to Crawfordsville to serve as a boys’ basketball assistant to his son, David. Upon Danny Pierce’s arrival, the Athenians won their first sectional in 25 years and contributed to a change in culture.
“Since then, we won our first conference title (this season) in 32 years, posted our most wins in a season with 18 (this season) since 1972 and our JV (also coached by him) went 21-1,” said David Pierce, who now has completed nine seasons as the program’s varsity coach. “He creates impactful relationships that push student-athletes to become better human beings and reach their potential.
“In the classroom, ‘OP’ (or ‘Old-Man Pierce’) teaches seven business periods, and he has had numerous students go on to major in accounting and business because of his ability to reach kids and see the potential in all of them. The students and athletes gravitate toward him. His actions demonstrate his love for his student-athletes.”
David Pierce further noted that Crawfordsville has had multiple student-athletes with outside challenges that required guidance and counseling – one player whose family was evicted from its home, another player who became a father during his senior season and a third player who lost his home because of a drug-addicted mother. Coach Pierce was the person to make sure these players received needed guidance.
“To put it simply, ‘OP’ is a class act who chooses joy every day,” David Pierce said.
Danny Pierce is a 1975 graduate of Western Boone, the first graduating class of the school. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Manchester College in 1979 and later earned a master’s degree from DePauw University. As mentioned above, he coached at Western Boone for 35 years, including the varsity boys’ basketball position from 1991-98 with a 94-70 record. He has been an assistant boys’ basketball coach at Crawfordsville for the past five seasons.