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  • Val T.

Coburn, Day to receive Gardner and Ball awards


Sports Editor, RTC


Game officials Eric Coburn and Ron Day will receive the Roy Gardner and Mildred Ball awards as outstanding officials.

Coburn officiated from 1985 to 2022, and Day has officiated from 1991 to the present.

Coburn, a Leesburg resident, also received the IHSAA Outstanding Girls Basketball Official Award in 2007 and the IHSAA Outstanding Boys Basketball Official Award in 2015.

He worked 28 girls sectionals, 19 regionals, 11 semistates and five state finals. He also worked 21 boys sectionals, 13 regionals, nine semistates and five state finals. He has also officiated three Hall of Fame Classic events in New Castle.

Day, a Plymouth resident, has worked 26 girls sectionals, 18 regionals, eight semistates (including the 2015 Tippecanoe Valley-Rochester Class 3A semistate game at Warsaw) and five state finals. He has also officiated 26 boys sectionals, 16 regionals, seven semistates and five state finals for boys basketball.

Grossman to receive Virgil Sweet Award

WRSW Radio’s Roger Grossman is among three recipients of the IBCA’s Virgil Sweet Award for providing “meritorious service in the promotion of basketball across Indiana.”

The award is named in honor of Sweet, the former boys basketball coach at Valparaiso and executive director of the IBCA from 1974-84.

Grossman started at WRSW as a summer intern in 1991. He stayed on as a football analyst that fall and provided play-by-play for Warsaw girls basketball that winter. He added football and boys basketball play-by-play responsibilities in 2002.

The Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association has named him state Broadcaster of the Year three times and district Broadcaster of the Year four other times.

He also received the 2010 IHSAA Distinguished Media Service Award in 2010, and his broadcast location at the southwest corner of the Tiger Den in Warsaw has been named “Roger’s Roost: in his honor. He has also been a licensed basketball official since 1986.

Grossman is a 1986 Argos grad, where he played soccer, basketball, golf and baseball. He received a bachelor’s degree in radio/television from Butler University in 1991.

Other Virgil Sweet Award recipients included summer basketball organizer Denise McClanahan of Indianapolis and sportswriter Mike Lopresti of Richmond.

Carlisle, Brobston, Burkhart named boys All-Star coaches

Don Carlisle, coach of Class 4A, No. 1 Ben Davis, has been selected to coach the Indiana boys All-Star team, games director Mike Broughton announced Monday.

Ben Davis is 32-0 and will play Kokomo in the Class 4A state championship game at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. Carlisle has won five sectional, two regional and two semistate titles in eight seasons as coach at Ben Davis. He is a 1997 Ben Davis grad who played collegiately at IUPUI and also played professionally for 11 years in France, Sweden, Australia, Finland, Italy and the D-League.

Frankton coach Brent Brobston and Evansville Bosse coach Shane Burkhart will assist. Burkhart is a 1992 Marion grad and was an assistant coach at Marion under current Tippecanoe Valley coach Joe Luce from 2004-08.

Rosters for the boys All-Stars will be announced at a later date.

Smith to receive Ray Crowe Award

Earl Smith Jr., who coached football, track and field, golf and basketball at Tolleston, Froebel, West Side, Emerson and Lew Wallace high schools in a 56-year career with the Gary Schools, will receive the IHSAA Ray Crowe Excellence in Leadership Award.

Smith retired in 2013 after a stint as City Athletic Director.

He will receive the award at halftime of the Class 3A boys basketball state championship game between NorthWood and Guerin Catholic Saturday. The game starts at 6 p.m.

The IHSAA presents the award to an individual “on the merits of their achievements, civic contributions, and community legacy, and who exemplifies the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and moral character.”

Smith was inducted into the Indiana Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1990, the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.

He is a 1952 Gary Roosevelt grad who earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Iowa and post-graduate degrees from Indiana.

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