Six cited as IBCA 2013-14 Girls’ Coaches of the Year
Six Indiana high school girls basketball coaches have been chosen as Bob King Coaches of the Year by their peers in the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Skeeter Heath of LaPorte, Kristi Kaniewski Ulrich of Penn, Chris Giffin of Lawrence North, Rich Schelsky of Western Boone, Steve Goans of Evansville Mater Dei and Gretchen Miles of Washington were recognized through voting that occurred from late January through mid-February.
Honors are awarded according to IHSAA district boundaries, and two coaches from each district are recipients — Heath and Ulrich in District 1, Giffin and Schelsky in District 2, and Goans and Miles in District 3.
- Heath guided LaPorte to a 20-3 season, including a Duneland Conference championship. He compiled a 96-142 record in 11 seasons with the Slicers.
- Ulrich directed Penn to a 25-2 campaign, including a Class 4A state runner-up finish. Her teams have gone 108-14 in five seasons with the Kingsmen, including two state runner-up efforts.
- Giffin led Lawrence North to a 25-2 season, including Marion County Tournament, sectional and regional championships. He is 46-6 in two seasons with the Wildcats.
- Schelsky steered Western Boone to an 18-6 record that included a sectional title. He is 66-22 in four seasons with the Lady Stars.
- Goans guided Evansville Mater Dei to a 26-2 ledger that included a Class 3A state runner-up finish. Goans is 207-122 in 16 seasons over two stints with the Wildcats, including Class 2A state championships in 2012 and 2013.
- Miles’ squad at Washington posted a 17-4 mark in 2013-14 for the fifth winning season of her tenure with the Hatchets. Her teams are 76-49 in six seasons at her alma mater.
All six coaches will receive plaques as a 2013-14 IBCA District Coach of the Year at the 2014 IBCA Clinic on April 25-26 at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. More detailed information on each of the winners follows.
Skeeter Heath, LaPorte
Skeeter Heath recently completed his 11th season as girls’ basketball coach at LaPorte, leading the Slicers to a 20-3 season and the Duneland Conference championship. Heath’s teams amassed a 96-142 record during his time at LaPorte, where he rebuilt a program that struggled in the middle of his tenure but recovered to post winning seasons the past three years. Previously, Heath was a boys’ basketball head coach at Muncie Burris, a boys’ basketball head coach at Wheeler, a boys’ basketball assistant at Merrillville and a boys’ basketball head coach at Logansport. His teams went 49-36 at Burris, 87-105 at Wheeler and 22-41 at Logansport. Heath, 59, who competed in basketball, baseball and cross country as a student at Cowan High School, is a Ball State graduate who teaches in the business and technology department at LaPorte. He and his wife, Bev, have one daughter, Jaclyn, a current senior at LaPorte. Following the season, Heath announced his resignation as the Slicers’ coach so he can be free to travel and follow his daughter’s basketball career at North Alabama.
Kristi Kaniewski Ulrich, Penn
Kristi Kaniewski Ulrich guided Penn girls’ basketball to a 25-2 record this season highlighted by a Class 4A state runner-up finish. She has compiled a 108-14 record in five seasons, with state runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2014. A 1999 graduate of Mishawaka, Ulrich played basketball at Bethel College in Mishawaka and helped the Pilots to Christian College national championships in 2000 and 2003. Ulrich served as a girls’ basketball assistant coach for four seasons at Mishawaka and two years at Penn before being named the Penn head coach in the spring of 2009. Since then, her Kingsmen have gone 16-3, 23-2, 25-2, 19-5 and 25-2 during her tenure. Her teams have won four sectionals, three regionals and two semistates. Ulrich has been selected head coach for the Junior All-Stars for 2014. Previously, she was named NIC Coach of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Ulrich also was a coach in the 2010 NIC vs. NLC Champions of Character All-Star Game. Ulrich and her husband, Jimmie, have a daughter – Avery (1).
Chris Giffin, Lawrence North
Chris Giffin has been girls’ basketball coach for two seasons at Lawrence North, compiling a 46-6 record with two Marion County Tournament championships, two Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference titles and one sectional and one regional crown. A 1996 graduate of Ben Davis, Giffin competed in basketball, baseball and tennis for the Giants, earning all-state honors in tennis as a senior. Giffin matriculated to Indiana University, where he was a student manager for Bob Knight from 1998-2000. He was a boys’ basketball assistant at Lawrence North while student teaching in 2000-01, then was a men’s graduate assistant at Texas Tech from 2001-2004. He returned to Lawrence North and served as a boys’ basketball assistant from the fall of 2004 through the 2011-12 season, filling roles as head freshman coach, head JV coach and varsity assistant during that span. Giffin took over the LN girls’ program in the fall of 2012 and has guided the Wildcats to records of 21-4 and 25-2 in two seasons. He twice has been selected MIC Coach of the Year and Marion County Coach of the Year. The 35-year-old coach and his wife, Jenica, have a daughter, Bailee (3).
Rich Schelsky, Western Boone
Rich Schelsky has compiled a 66-22 record in four seasons as girls’ basketball coach at Western Boone, including an 18-6 mark in 2013-14 that was highlighted by an appearance in a Class 3A regional final. A 1993 graduate of Rockville High School, the 39-year-old coach played basketball and baseball for the Rox. He scored 1,272 points in his basketball career for Rockville and later attended Indiana State. Schelsky began his coaching career at Rockville, serving as a boys’ basketball assistant for five seasons (1997-2002) and the boys’ basketball head coach for one season. His Rox went 10-13 in 2002-03. He then was a boys’ basketball assistant for two seasons at Northview (2003-05) and for one year at Western Boone (2009-10) before being named the WeBo girls’ basketball coach in the fall of 2010. His Lady Stars posted records of 15-6, 19-3 and 14-7 prior to this season’s 18-6. Schelsky also was varsity baseball coach at Rockville for nine seasons (1997 through 2005), winning regional titles in 1998 and 1999. He also was baseball coach at Western Boone for three seasons (2009 through 2011). Schelsky currently works as the junior high athletic director at Western Boone. He and his wife, DeLisa, have three children – Treigh (7), Birkley (5) and Kelby (1).
Steve Goans, Evansville Mater Dei
Steve Goans guided Evansville Mater Dei to a 26-2 record in 2013-14 that included a Class 3A state runner-up finish. That came after he directed the Wildcats back-to-back Class 2A state championships in 2012 and 2013. Goans has posted a 135-39 record the past seven seasons at Mater Dei and has a 207-122 mark in two stints with the Wildcats over 16 seasons (he coached the team from 1980-89 and from 2007-present). Goans is a 1976 graduate of Mater Dei, and he played basketball and baseball for the Wildcats. As a coach, his teams have won sectionals in 1986, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. They also have captured regionals and semistates in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Goans was selected Evansville-area Coach of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He also was chosen ICGSA Class 2A state Coach of the Year in 2012. After high school, Goans attended the University of Southern Indiana (then Indiana State-Evansville) and played baseball for one season. Goans works in receiving for Novitex Enterprise Solutions, a Connecticut-based firm with an office in Evansville. Goans and his wife, Becky, have two adult children – Matt and Leslie – and recently welcomed their first grandchild, Cora.
Gretchen Miles, Washington
Gretchen Miles has compiled a 76-49 record in six seasons at Washington, her alma mater. That includes a 17-4 mark in 2013-14, the fifth winning season of her tenure. Miles was a standout player for the Hatchets, graduating in 1997 with 1,588 career points. She later played two seasons at the University of Southern Indiana and graduated from USI with a degree in elementary education. She also played tennis for the Screaming Eagles. Miles began her coaching career as a junior high school coach in Washington for two years. She then became a high school assistant coach for four years before becoming the Hatchets’ head coach. Miles, a teacher at Lena Dunn Elementary School for 12 years, also coaches girls’ soccer for the Hatchets. She was a soccer assistant for two seasons and has been the school’s varsity soccer coach for six years. Miles has been named an Indiana All-Star assistant coach for 2014.