RHS has been a coaching factory

Jan 8, 2013 By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

When we were preparing our stories for the Bill Strannigan East-West Basketball Challenge last weekend in Riverton, Lady Wolverine basketball coach Ron Porter made an interesting observation.

Porter wondered whether any high school in Wyoming has produced more men who became head high school or college boys or girls basketball coaches than Riverton High School has.

It would be difficult to verify, but he may be right. Let's look at the list. In no particular order, Ron Porter, Rick Porter, Dick Quayle, Scott Quayle, Scott Morrow, Kevin McCloud, Homer Bennett, Mike Ibach, Serol Stauffenberg, Lars Flanagan, Tim Daniel, Steve Barlow, Brady Slack, Ricky Blackburn, Tony Hult and Eric Glenn all have, at one time or another, worn the title of head basketball coach.

And they were all Riverton Wolverines. That's pretty cool.

At least 16 RHS grads have, at one time or another, been their school's leader of various boys or girls basketball programs.

And there was a time, Lars Flanagan reminded me, when four of the 12 Class 4-A basketball coaches in Wyoming were RHS grads.

And readers, let us know if we've missed anyone.

Some are still coaching, others are off to new pursuits, but the impact these Wolverine grads have had on the lives of hundreds of young men and women should be recognized and praised.

It is a true testament to the men who were their coaches here in Riverton while they were students. Each one of those men played, practiced, won, lost, and likely had unbelievable highs and lows at various points in their high school athletic career.

They must have had solid mentors. tStrannigan, Mike Harris and Porter must have laid a pretty solid foundation and certainly possessed a good set of core values that were passed on to their players. For that we are thankful.

Even though some of the former Wolverine players who became coaches have led their teams to state championships, the legacy these men have pass on to impressionable young athletes is what is most important.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then our former basketball coaches should feel pretty darn good. As Porter remarked last week, men like Strannigan left an imprint on the lives of many students because they cared for our school and our community.

It's no doubt that coaches in all sports teach, model and instill values in our youth as they hope their young players will succeed on and off athletic fields or courts.

For the most part, we've been blessed here in Riverton with quality head coaches who, in a time when many say coaching is getting more difficult, continue to give our kids more than just Xs and Os. It's probably a safe bet that we are watching future coaches on Riverton's boys and girls high school teams right now.

Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!

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