overman hall of fame

Kirby Overman (right), who coached the Batesville Bulldogs to a 40-8 record from 1969-71 and the 1971 regional title, shares a laugh with one of his former New Albany players. Overman will enter the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame with the Class of 2020.

Kirby Overman, who won 83% of his games in two seasons at the helm of the Batesville Bulldogs, is part of the 2020 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame class to be inducted March 25.

His first year was 1969-70, when the Dogs finished 16-6 after losing the sectional championship in double overtime to an unbeaten South Ripley team. The next year was a great success, Batesville going 24-2 and advancing to the 1971 semistate. The Bulldogs defeated Sunman and Jac-Cen-Del in the sectional before knocking off Connersville and Rushville at the regional. At Hinkle Fieldhouse, BHS lost by five to New Castle.

More notable for Overman was a 1973 state championship at New Albany. Before coming to Batesville, he coached at Otterbein, Benton Central and North Dearborn high schools; after N. Albany, there were stops at Hamilton Heights, Bluffton and Cloverdale high schools. All in all, Overman collected 230 wins in Indiana before gaining 173 more in Florida and Virginia and winning 36 games as head coach at IUPUI.

Overman was the first high school coach tabbed to lead the Indiana All-Star team, leading the Hoosier squad to two wins over Kentucky in 1974 and a win against the Russian Junior National team. Throughout his career, he was a five-time Conference Coach of the Year and won six statewide Coach of the Year awards, including 1973 Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters, Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, Bloomington Herald-Telephone and Ball State Alumni Coach of the Year.

Retired, he resides in Lancaster, Kentucky.

Other men’s selections for the 2020 Class (with main affiliation) include: Bill Berberian (West Lafayette; coached Greensburg his first three years); Wally Cox (Broad Ripple; played at Butler University with Bobby Plump and Ray Craft); the late Alan Darner (Anderson Highland); the late Ted Guzek (Hammond Morton; also played at Butler with Plump and Craft); Mark James (Franklin Central, Ben Davis); Lyndon Jones (Marion); John Lee (New Castle); the late Davage Minor (Gary Froebel); Dick Nyers (Indianapolis Manual; caught Johnny Unitas’ first career touchdown pass as a Baltimore Colt).

Also: the late Bob Purkhiser (Bluffton); Jerry Reynolds (Springs Valley); the late Ray Roesner (Holland/Southridge); the late Mark Siegel (Pike; one of 14 University of Evansville players to perish in a Dec. 13, 1977 plane crash); Terry Stotts (Bloomington North; current coach of the Portland Trailblazers); Joe Sutter (Marion); Steve Yoder (Plymouth; former coach at Wisconsin); Centennial Award honoree Paul White (Franklin); and Indiana Pacers Silver Medal recipient Jim Kessler (Grace College).

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