April 30, 2022 was an important day in IBCA history. We celebrated our 50th Hall of Fame inductees and 50th season of Coaches of the Year. Once again, we were hosted by Illinois State University at Redbird Arena.
At the COY luncheon, 300+ coaches from junior high schools, high schools, colleges, and universities were recognized for their accomplishments over the 2021-2022 season. The session was highlighted by our president Deb Coffman's comments as the first female president of the IBCA. The luncheon ended on a high note with an energetic presentation by new men's basketball coach at Illinois State University, Ryan Pedon.
The day continued with a social gathering on the mezzanine level of Redbird Arena. This event connects the luncheon and the banquet. Many coaches, hall of farmers, new inductees, family and friends visited and enjoyed the athletic atmosphere of ISU.
The evening brought on our "Academy Awards of Illinois Basketball" (phrase coined by Bruce Firchau, IBCA Board Member and Museum Chairman). Over 600 people attended to see us honor three Organizations of the Year--Athletic Officials Association, The Chicago Catholic League, The Vermilion County Tournament. We recognized Lee Cabutti of Champaign, as the only person to attend all 50 years of Hall of Fame banquets. Dave Power was honored for his great career as the Head Girls' Coach of (Oak Park) Fenwick High School, where he won 1,000+ games. Mr. and Ms. Basketball recipients (Braden Huff of Glenbard West HS and Sophie Swanson of Barrington HS) spoke to the crowd about their journeys to these awards. The Derril Kipp Award recognized Dorothy Gaters of Chicago Marshall High School for her leadership and excellence as the head girls' coach there. Dorothy has been a pioneer of girls' basketball for 50+ years. Bob Reczek was recognized as the 2021 Kipp winner as he was unable to attend last year. Bob is a Hall of Fame official who champions Special Olympics and the opportunities presented for athletes through that organization. The 2022 Herrins winner, named after the only brothers to be presidents of the IBCA. This award recognizes an individual for a lifetime of contributions to the game of basketball. Carol Plodzien is this year's winner. Carol has been a Title IX pioneer and gave a wonderful speech "Let the girls play". The Chuck Rolinski Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2022 is Bruce Firchau. This award is named after the IBCA founder and recognizes individuals who contribute greatly to the game of basketball and to the IBCA. Bruce is the chairman of the IBCA efforts to create the Basketball Museum of Illinois. He is recognized as the leading historian and storyteller in the state of Illinois. Hall of Fame inductions came for 107 individuals and 8 teams. Nearly 90% of the new class were in attendance.
Among the many highlights of the day was the announcement by IBCA Director, Jim Tracy and Basketball Museum of Illinois Chairman, Bruce Firchau, that the IBCA and the city of Bedford Park, IL have entered into an agreement to pursue the establishment of the physical museum at the Wintrust Bank Sports Facility.
We would like to thank everyone who was in attendance and those who helped us make this night such a special event!