Three to receive ‘Sweet’ awards at 2018 IBCA Clinic

Several with strong ties to Indiana basketball to be honored for contributions on April 20


Three people with significant ties to Indiana high school basketball will be recognized with Virgil Sweet Awards at the 2018 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association annual clinic later this month.

Virgil Sweet Awards are presented to those who have provided meritorious service in the promotion of basketball across Indiana. The award is named in honor of Sweet, the former Valparaiso High School basketball coach and former executive director of the IBCA.

This year’s recipients are former Columbia City and Fort Wayne Canterbury girls’ coach Wayne Kreiger, Terry Downham of Kokomo and former Franklin Community girls’ coach Walt Raines.

Each will be honored during a program on April 20 at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. Kreiger is the honoree from District 1. Downham is the recipient from District 2. Raines is the honoree from District 3.
The full clinic runs April 20-21 with Indiana University men’s coach Archie Miller as the headline speaker. Other featured speakers are Marian University women’s coach Katie Gearlds, Southern Illinois men’s coach Barry Hinson and Emmanuel (Ga.) College men’s coach T.J. Rosene. Admission to the clinic is $50 for IBCA members and $100 for non-IBCA members.
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Here is more information about each Sweet Award honoree.

Wayne Kreiger

Wayne Kreiger compiled a 588-233 record as a varsity girls’ basketball coach at Columbia City and Fort Wayne Canterbury, leading the Cavaliers to the 2013 Class A state championship and amassing three state runner-up finishes (one at Columbia City, two at Canterbury). He remains the state’s fifth all-time winningest coach for girls basketball.

In 33 seasons from 1977-2010 as the girls coach at Columbia City, Kreiger’s teams went 520-222 with 16 sectional titles, eight regional crowns, one semistate trophy and claimed Class 3A state runner-up honors in 2000. He later coached three seasons at Canterbury, 2012-15, guiding the Cavs to a 68-11 mark that included the aforementioned state crown plus Class 2A state runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015.

Kreiger is a 1960 graduate of Huntington Township High School, where he competed in basketball, baseball and track & field. He went on to Manchester College, competing in basketball there, and received a master’s degree from Ball State in 1968.

He began his career in education with West Noble Schools in 1964-65, then worked in Huntington County Community Schools from 1965-70. He moved to Columbia City Schools in 1970, serving two years as a boys basketball assistant and two years as boys basketball head coach before taking over the Eagles’ girls program in the fall of 1977.

He was an Indiana All-Star assistant coach in 1989 and a Junior All-Star assistant coach in 1996. He was presented the Claude Wolfe Coach of the Year Award from Manchester College in 2005.

Kreiger was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Kreiger has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 28 years. He has three children, two step-children and 13 grandchildren.

Terry Downham

Terry Downham has served in a support role to promote basketball and other sports in Indiana for 45 years. He is the sports information director and public-address announcer for Kokomo High School as well as the game-day coordinator, p.a. announcer and reunion coordinator for the Indiana All-Star basketball program.

Downham has been part of the Indianapolis Colts’ official stats crew since the team moved to Indianapolis in 1984, and he worked on the official stats crew for several Big Ten Football Championship games and the 2012 Super Bowl. In the past, he also was a part of the IHSAA football State Finals stats crew.

Downham also has worked in the Purdue football press box for 25 years as a spotter for the p.a. announcer and served as secretary-treasurer for the North Central Conference for 12 years. He was co-director of the 1985 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association all-star game and was official scorer for the Kokomo Jackrabbits in the Prospect League.

He is a board member and secretary of the Howard County Sports Hall of Fame, and he was presented the Bob Williams Helping Hand Award in 2017 by the Indiana Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association.

A 1970 graduate of Lewis Cass High School, Downham attended Purdue and received a bachelor’s degree in math education in 1973. He earned his master’s degree from Purdue in 1976.

Downham and his wife, Judy, have two adult daughters and three grandchildren.

Walt Raines

            Walt Raines amassed a 339-276 record in 27 seasons as varsity girls’ basketball coach at Franklin Community High School, guiding the Lady Cubs to five sectional titles, two regional crowns, one semi-state championship and the 1998 Class 3A state runner-up finish in a tenure that spanned from 1988 through 2015.

In addition to coaching at the high school level, Raines served as chairman of the Indiana AAU girls’ basketball program from 2003-12, served on the Indiana AAU girls’ basketball board of directors from 1988-2012 and founded the Indy Girls Hoops League in 2008.

Raines still directs the IGHL program, which has grown to serve more than 400 teams at a time in fall, winter and spring leagues for players in third grade through eighth grade. He also worked as an assistant director at the Franklin Boys & Girls Club from 1977-88.

Recognizing his excellence, Raines was chosen to be the 1998 Indiana girls Junior All-Star  coach, a coach for the 2000 HBCA East-West All-Star Game and an assistant coach for the 2004 Indiana girls All-Stars. He also was chosen ICGSA District 4 Coach of the Year in 1999, the Mid-State Conference Coach of the Year and the Metro South Coach of the Year on multiple occasions by The Indianapolis Star.

Raines is a 1976 graduate of Muncie Burris High School. He went on to Franklin College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1980. He received a master’s degree in education from Indiana Wesleyan in 1994.

Raines began his career in education in 1981 as a teacher at Franklin Community Middle School, and he is completing his 37th year at that school. He became the school’s Dean of Students in 1999 and added the role of Athletic Director in 2014.

He began coaching basketball in 1984, guiding both middle-school boys and girls teams for four seasons before moving to the high school level. He also coached middle school football and middle school track from 1984-94.

Raines and his wife, Pam, have four adult children and nine grandchildren.