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Three writers to receive 2020 ‘Sweet’ awards from IBCA
Peters, Carmin and Engelhardt honored by coaches’ group for contributions to basketball

Three sports journalists with significant ties to Indiana high school basketball will be recognized with Virgil Sweet Awards for 2020.
Jim Peters of the Michigan City News-Dispatch and LaPorte County Herald-Argus, Mike Carmin of the Lafayette Journal & Courier and Gordon Engelhardt of the Evansville Courier & Press are the recipients of this year’s awards. One is honored from each IHSAA district — Peters in District 1, Carmin in District 2 and Engelhardt in District 3.
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, a former Valparaiso High School basketball coach and executive director of the IBCA from 1977 through 1984. This the 39th year that the Virgil Sweet Awards have been presented. The set of awards was first given in 1982. A list of winners from over the years — plus a bio of Virgil Sweet — are beneath the biographies of the 2020 winners.
These awards typically are presented during the IBCA’s annual clinic during April, but this year’s clinic has been postponed from the original April 24-25 dates. The coaches will receive the awards at a date to be determined. For more information about the IBCA, go to www.ibcacoaches.com.
Here is more information about each Sweet Award honoree for 2020.
Jim Peters
Jim Peters has had a successful writing career in northwest Indiana covering 35 years for a several newspapers, most recently the Michigan City News-Dispatch and LaPorte County Herald-Argus.
He has won a variety of awards over the years, including the The Griddy’s Media Award in 2016, Best Sports Event Coverage in the 2016 Hoosier State Press Association contest and the Media Award from the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association on multiple occasions. Most recently, Peters was recognized as the Corky Lamm Sportswriter of the Year by the Indiana Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association in 2017.
Peters is a 1981 graduate of Andrean High School, where he played golf and was in the same graduating class as Dan Dakich. He went on to Purdue University, where he covered men’s basketball, football, baseball and other sports for the Purdue Exponent prior to graduation in 1985. He also did play-by-play of men’s basketball for a student radio station that served the Purdue residence halls.
He began his professional writing career in 1985, working 13 years for The Herald News Group and producing text for the Merrillville Herald, the Portage Journal-Press, the Hobart Gazette, the Lake Station Herald and later the Portage Chronicle. He joined The Times of Northwest Indiana in 1998, covering sports in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties for 20 years. In 2018, he moved to a new spot and now works for the Michigan City News-Dispatch and LaPorte County Herald-Argus.
Over the years, Peters has covered State Finals events in 17 of the 20 sports offered by the IHSAA. He also has been a contributing writer for the Chesterton Tribune and to Hoosier Basketball Magazine. He also participated in recreational basketball and softball as a younger adult and coached youth basketball and youth baseball in Portage from 1997 through 2007.
Peters has been married to his wife, Anita, for 31 years. The couple has three adult children – Carolyn, CJ and Cameron.

Mike Carmin
Mike Carmin has been an award-winning writer for the Lafayette Journal & Courier for parts of five decades – the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and now into the 2020s.
Carmin began his career more than 30 years ago as a freelance reporter covering high school sports and Purdue women’s basketball for the Journal & Courier, which led him to follow the Boilermakers on their way to the national championship in 1999. His coverage of that team won a national award from Gannett.
For 10 of the past 11 seasons, he also has been the primary reporter for Purdue football program along with his duties covering the women’s basketball program and high school sports. In the 2019-2020 season, Carmin completed his first year covering the Purdue’s men’s basketball program.
Carmin is 1980 graduate of Eastbrook High School, where he competed in basketball, football and baseball. He went on to Franklin College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1985. He worked in radio prior to starting his writing career, initially as a freelance reporter in 1989.
Carmin received the Mel Greenberg Media Award from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in 2012. He also was honored as the Corky Lamm Sportswriter of the Year by the Indiana Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association in 2019.
Carmin and his wife, Kathy, live in Lafayette.

Gordon Engelhardt
Gordon Engelhardt has received numerous awards in his career as a sports writer that has touched a part of six decades, the last 36 years with the Evansville Sunday Courier & Press, Evansville Courier or Evanville Courier & Press.
From the late 1970s and now into the 2020s, Engelhardt has covered everything from the NCAA Division I men’s basketball Final Four to several NCAA Division II men’s and women’s Elite Eights to the Indianapolis 500 to hydroplane racing to multiple Indiana high school state championship events in basketball and multiple other sports.
Engelhardt is a 1975 graduate of Lincoln Community High School in Lincoln, Ill., where he played three years of baseball and one year of football. He went on to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1979. After college, he was a pitcher for three semi-pro baseball teams in Illinois.
He began his writing career in May 1979 with the Watseka (Ill.) Times-Republic. He moved to the Ottawa (Ill.) Daily Times in January 1980 for more than four years, then accepted a position with the Evansville Sunday Courier & Press in December 1984. That paper was folded into the Evansville Courier in October 1986, and it later became the Evansville Courier & Press.
Engelhardt has won awards for his reporting on basketball and powerboat racing. Among his most recent awards were second place for best columnist in the 2013 Associated Press state contest and third place for best commentary and third place for best event coverage in the 2016 Hoosier State Press Association contest. He also was named Sportswriter of the Year in 2008 by the American Boat Racing Association and Reporter of the Year in 1990 by the Unlimited Racing Commission.
More recently, Engelhardt was inducted into the Greater Evansville Sports Hall of Fame in 2017 and into the Indiana Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 2019.
Engelhardt lives in Newburgh with his wife of 17 years, Julie. His stepsons Michael and Eric Rosenbaum both are Castle High School graduates and both live in Los Angeles.

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Virgil Sweet Award winners
Virgil Sweet Award winners as presented by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association from 1982-present. Five winners per year from 1982-2003 when the IHSAA was in a five-district format. Three to eight winners per year from 2004-present when IHSAA has been in a three-district format.
1982: Terry Lee (District 1); Jack Yaggy (District 2); Otis Bowen (District 3); Bob Barnet (District 4); Joe Edwards (District 5).
1983: Pinky Newell (District 1); Herb Schwartz (District 2); Don Jellison (District 3); Morry Mannies (District 4); Whitey Jones (District 5).
1984: Virgil Sweet (District 1); Joe Smekins (District 2); Charlie Maas (District 3); Sam Roberts (District 4); Bob Hammel (District 5).
1985: Bob King (District 1); Forrest Miller (District 2); Dave Pert (District 3); Herbie Houk (District 4); Richard Lankford (District 5).
1986: Dave Krider (District 1); Earl Mishler (District 2); Patricia Roy (District 3); Sam Simmermaker (District 4); Norman Hall (District 5).
1987: Harry Bradway (District 1); Hilliard Gates (District 2); Jimmie Angelopolous (District 3); Don McBride (District 4); John Potts (District 5).
1988: Bill Overholser (District 1); Bill Fowler (District 2); Howard Catt (District 3); Orvis “Shorty” Burdsall (District 4); Lloyd E. “Barney” Scott (District 5).
1989: Paul Rommelmann (District 1); Gene Conard (District 2); Jerry Baker (District 3); Eric Wohlford (District 4); Bob Simmers (District 5).
1990: Doug Adams (District 1); Bob Straight (District 2); Don Bates (District 3); Phil Stigelman (District 4); Guy Glover (District 5).
1991: Skip Collins (District 1); Bud Gallmeier (District 2); Betty Sizelove (District 3); Gus Moorhead (District 4); Bob Lochmueller (District 5).
1992: Joe Heath (District 1); Ken Klimek (District 2); Garry Donna (District 3); Phil Buck (District 4); Bud Ritter (District 5).
1993: John Mutka (District 1); Leroy Lambright (District 2); Ray Craft (District 3); Ron Lemasters (District 4); Charlie Jenkins (District 5).
1994: Mildred Ball (District 1); Bob Primmer (District 2); Tom Carnegie (District 3); Ted Server (District 4); George Marshall (District 5).
1995: Earl Mishler (District 1); By Hey (District 2); Kurt Freudenthal (District 3); Harold Schutz (District 4); Temme Patterson (District 5).
1996: Paul Condry (District 1); Greg Johans (District 2); Wayne Fuson (District 3); Jan Clark (District 4); Mike Blake (District 5).
1997: Paul Jankowski (District 1); David Fulkerson (District 2); Gene Conard (District 3); John Robbins (District 4); Dan Korb (District 5).
1998: Wally McCormack (District 1); Dick Simpson (District 2); Bill Pfister (District 3); Ron Raver (District 4); Mike Barrett (District 5).
1999: Forrest Rhode (District 1); Dennis Kraft (District 2); Jim Rosenstihl (District 3); Phil Snodgress (District 4); Robert “Bud” Shippee (Distict 5).
2000: Jeff Washburn (District 1); Rita Price Simpson (District 2); Howard Sharpe (District 3); Ayler Davidson (District 4); Larry Schwetzer (District 5).
2001: Curt Casbon (District 1); Fred Inniger (District 2); Gene Cato (District 3); Bob Lovell (District 4); Brian Bohne (District 5).
2002: Marvin Tudor (District 1); Jack Woodruff (District 2); Jim Russell (District 3); John Hodge (District 4); Tom Collins (District 5).
2003: Paul Curtis (District 1); Dean Pantazi (District 2); Vince Welch (District 3); George Griffith (District 4); Jack Butcher (District 5).
2004: Ron Heflin and Dan Swift (District 1); Patrick Aikman and Pat McKee (District 2); Richard Lankford, Donna Sullivan and Graham Taylor (District 3).
2005: Keith Nuest and Elmer Strautman (District 1); Bill Benner and Gene Keady (District 2); Walt Ferber (District 3).
2006: Homer Drew and Mike Hey (District 1); Gene Milner and Herb Schwomeyer (District 2); Dan Egierski and Orlando “Gunner” Wyman (District 3).
2007: Anthony Anderson, Tom Rehm and Dan Willett (District 1); Dave Calabro and Judi Warren (District 2); Cliff Guilliams and Kurt Gutgsell (District 3).
2008: Chip Jones and Fred Mitchell (District 1); Roger Dickinson and Bob Kirkhoff (District 2); Chris James and Jason Recker (District 3).
2009: Bob Adams (District 1); Greg Bell and Leigh Evans (District 2); Bob Boyles, John Harrell and Jeff Sagarin (District 3).
2010: Stu Swartz, Jackie and Cory Webster (District 1); Larry Barrett and Ed Siegel (District 2); Hugh Schaefer (District 3).
2011: Mark Smith (District 1); Mike Beas (District 2); Charles Denbo (District 3).
2012: Al Hamnik and Greg Jones (District 1); Dr. John McCarroll, Robin Miller and Dick Rea (District 2); Curt Cavin, Arv Koontz and Pete Swanson (District 3).
2013: Joe Arredondo and Wayne Svetanoff (District 1); Rich Nye (District 2); Keith Doades and John Heaton (District 3).
2014: Chuck Freeby, Steve Hanlon and Bob Nagle (District 1); Danny Danielson and Charlie Hughes (District 2); Andy Graham and Johnny McCrory (District 3).
2015: Tommy Schoegler and Bob Stambazze (District 1); Mark Morrow and Kyle Neddenriep (District 2); Bryce Kendrick (District 3).
2016: John Dillman and Jerry Hoover (District 1); Dan Repass and Bill Uhrig (District 2); Kevin Smith (District 3).
2017: Phil Gardner and Mike Lightfoot (District 1); John Grimes and Paul Patterson (District 2); Bob Bridge (District 3).
2018: Wayne Kreiger (District 1); Terry Downham (District 2); Walt Raines (District 3).
2019: Bill Walker (District 1); Charlie Hall (District 2); Larry Goffinet (District 3).
2020: Jim Peters (District 1); Mike Carmin (District 2); Gordon Engelhardt (District 3).

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Virgil Sweet bio
Virgil Sweet has been a part of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association since the group’s inception and an award is named after him, but not everyone may recall what an outstanding coach he was for 20 years at Valparaiso High School.
Sweet, who currently lives in Florida, will turn 93 on April 27.
A 1945 graduate of Covington High School, Sweet played basketball on a team that reached the Indianapolis Semi-State and lost 39-38 to Rushville as a senior. He initially went to Butler and played one year of football for Tony Hinkle, then transferred to Eastern Illinois and played football and baseball for the Panthers. He graduated from EIU in 1950 and later earned a master’s degree from Indiana University.
Sweet began his basketball coaching career as an assistant coach to Don Reichert for one season at Covington. Sweet became varsity coach for three seasons at Westville (Ill.) before moving to Valparaiso as the varsity coach from 1954-74. His Vikings won 296 games over those 20 seasons, going 48-6 in sectional contests, claiming 14 sectional titles – including 11 in a row – and twice reached the final eight of the state tournament.
In 23 seasons as a varsity coach, including the three years at Westville, Sweet’s teams won 342 games.
Sweet’s teams at Valparaiso were noted for their excellent free-throw shooting, largely because of 20-step system that became known as the “Valparaiso Free-Throw Method.” His 1963-64 squad shot .792 for the season, then a national high school record. He coached two high school All-Americans, 54 players who played college basketball and 16 players who became coaches. Sweet was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.
After retiring as a coach, Sweet was chairman of the Valparaiso physical education department and served as the IBCA executive director from 1977 through 1984 after assisting Marion Crawley with the group for a year. He then retired from teaching and moved to Florida, where he has had a tremendously successful second career in real estate.
Sweet’s wife of 47 years, Paralee, passed away in 1999. They had two daughters, Shari and Sandy, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Sweet remains active, regularly playing tennis, and Helen Parks has been his companion for the past 11 years.