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High School Sports

June 27, 2014

H.S. BASKETBALL: Tipton happy with Lefevre selection

Former Providence coach will officially be Blue Devil coach on July 8

TIPTON — Tipton High School has a tradition of producing winners on the basketball court and so does Lou Lefevre.

So, it should come as no surprise the two are joining forces.

The Tipton Community School Corp. Board of Trustees announced on Tuesday it intends to hire Lefevre at its next public meeting on Tuesday, July 8. The board was unable to officially hire Lefevre last night as it failed to advertise the public meeting 72 hours in advance in accordance with the state law.

Lefevre, who is 461-196 in 27 seasons, will replace Brad Dickey, who was hired at Franklin Community High School last month.

“This is a unique situation,” Tipton High School athletic director Kory Fernung said. “Coach brings experience and he is a proven winner. In my eyes and in others, our basketball program always has experienced success and the program is a proven winner. In most situations of a new coach taking over it’s sorta like starting over. This is different, our program and his background fit each other, causing this to be a unique and exciting hire.”

Dickey was the varsity coach for the past five years, leading the Blue Devils to a 107-23 record, four straight Class 2A sectional titles and three regional championships. Tipton’s bid for a fourth straight regional crown was denied by Lewis Cass in the regional championship game at Lapel back in February.

“I can’t imagine a better situation,” Lefevre said Tuesday. “A better situation where basketball is important from the community standpoint and where the feeder programs are strong and parents who’ve trained their children well in the game of basketball.”

In fact, the Connecticut native believes Tipton is the perfect fit for him. So much so, he plans to buy a house.

“If all 400 Indiana high schools offered me a job simultaneously, this is the job I would probably pick,” Lefevre said. “This is the first job I’ve had where it has a strong program already in place. Every other job I’ve taken, it’s been a complete rebuild or another significant obstacle came up to make the job difficult.”

Lefevre spent the past 10 seasons coaching at Providence High School — a private Class 2A school located in Clark County in Southern Indiana. When he took over, Providence was on probation for misconduct and had posted back-to-back seasons of 11-11 and 12-10 under Joe Hinton.

Lefevre’s first season, he led the Pioneers to a 19-1 record. They were ineligible for the postseason state tournament. That was the first of 10 straight winning seasons. He compiled a 175-52 record at Providence , leading the Pioneers to three sectional and their only two regional championships.

Lefevre got his first head coaching job as a 21-year-old college student at Central Connecticut State University. The job was at Mary Immaculate Academy — a prep school in New Britain, Conn. His first coaching season was 1987. He led the school to three prep school state championships.

He then coached Terryville, a public high school in Plymouth, Conn., to a state championship.

He’s also coached at Saint Pius (1996-2003) in Atlanta , Ga., and at Bishop Lynch (2004) in Dallas, Texas . He then came to Indiana.

“Most high school basketball coaches wish they could coach in Indiana — it’s the capital of basketball,” Lefevre said.

In addition to his coaching duties, Lefevre will teach middle school science.

Lefevre was one of four candidates interviewed and one of dozens who applied.

“We probably had a pool of candidates as good as you could have for a school our size,” Tipton High School Assistant Principal Rik Stillson said. “We had candidates that had been doing this for a long time and coaches with outstanding records that were interested in us. That says a lot for what Brad has done and what Travis [Daugherty] did before him that we had coaches the caliber of what we had interested in coming here. I was impressed.”

Stillson believes Tipton has found the right guy on the court and in the classroom.

“I think with sports you’re always looking for a really good coach,” he said, “but from a school standpoint, you want to get the best teacher you can as well, and if they happen to be the best coach, that’s great too. I think in this case we got the best of both worlds. He’s been a really good teacher wherever he’s been and he’s won basketball games wherever he’s been, so you can’t do much better than that. And too, it’s very important that the coach teach in the school system.

“We had opportunities to get coaches that were not going to be able to have a teaching job here, and not that they weren’t strong candidates, but it was important that we have someone who would be in one of the three buildings, just be around and familiar with the kids and be part of the community.”

Lefevre, who is engaged, plans to move to Tipton. He will bring his fiancée and stepson with him. He is confident the program will continue to be successful.

“I’ve been able to raise the level of play higher than before [I got there], and if I can do it here, we’ll have teams people will be talking about decades from now,” he said. “I teach things I know that will help kids at out-maneuvering or out-performing kids they will be playing against. I basically teach concepts. As far as styles, I want pressure defense and the team to push ball down the floor and get a good shot.

“My strength is that I get kids to do that. If we have kids that want to be coached, I will be able to help them.”

Fernung said: “He is an educator in the game. We hope he will not only keep our program at the top, but will elevate us even higher.”

Lefevre added: “I’m just so fortunate they chose me especially since I didn’t know anybody here.”

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