In celebrating the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s and Title IX’s 50th Anniversary, the IBCA had media and coaches select the 30 most impactful people in Men's Basketball and the 30 most impactful people in Women's basketball during the last 50 years. We will be highlighting in alphabetical order one person a week from each category who our state selected for the Top 30 over the next 30 weeks, beginning on Thursday, January 20th.
Week Sixteen (5/5/22)
Okawville High School/Benton High School/Southern Illinois University
Most basketball fans in Illinois know that Coach Rich Herrin was a coaching legend at Benton High School and had excellent success as the head coach at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. However, not many know that his coaching career began at Okawville High School in 1956 and in four seasons the Rockets went 95-17. They never lost a home game during those four years. From Okawville it was on to Benton where Rich coached from 1960 to 1985. During his tenure there the Benton Rangers were 521-192, won 21 regionals, 8 sectionals and reached the Elite 8 five times. Three times his teams finished the regular season undefeated. Rich also coached at Southern Illinois University for 13 seasons guiding the Salukis to three Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Titles to go along with two Missouri Valley Conference Championships. His SIU team earned four NIT berths and three NCAA Tournament bids. Four times Coach Herrin was selected Southern Illinois Coach of the Year to go along with numerous honors he received over the years. Rich and his brother Ron have been honored by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association by having an annual award that honors lifetime contributions to basketball in Illinois.
Maine West High School
Derril Kipp’s thirty-four-year career as varsity girls coach at Maine West High School was something to behold. He finished his career in 2015-16 with a 788-316 record and was 6th on the all-time list for wins by an Illinois girls coach. Kipp took seven teams to the Elite Eight and won the 1988 Class AA State Title with a perfect record. His teams also finished 2nd in 1993, 3rd in 1987 and 1992 and 4th in 1985. Coach Kipp’s teams established two state records. The Warriors set a mark for most consecutive conference wins with 110 in the Central Suburban League. Their second record occurred between 1987-89, winning 65 consecutive games which is still a bench mark record in Illinois High School Girls’ Basketball. Derril had 4-30 plus win seasons and 19-20 plus win seasons. His teams also won 23 regionals and 9 sectional crowns. One of his players, Nancy Kennelly was the 1988 Ms. Basketball Illinois. Sadly in 2016, at the age of 71 Derril passed away from cancer. Beginning in 2018, the IBCA honored his legacy by naming its annual courage award in Coach Kipp’s name.