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April 19, 2013

Logansport set to hire Skaggs as boys basketball coach

Pat Skaggs is returning to his North Central Conference roots.

The former Anderson star is set to make the short trek down the road that leads to the NCC, U.S. 35, from Pioneer to Logansport to become the Berries’ next boys basketball coach.

Logansport High School released a press release on Thursday night stating that it will be recommending Skaggs for the job pending school board approval at the April 29 meeting.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity and a very intriguing job,” Skaggs said. “It’s a place that obviously has a lot of tradition and we’re playing in a very prestigious conference. So there are obviously a lot of positives.”

Skaggs, 51, enjoyed a most successful four-year stint at Pioneer. He guided the Panthers to four straight sectional titles and a 67-31 record during his time in Royal Center. Pioneer had won just two sectional titles in boys basketball before Skaggs’ arrival.

“Pioneer, from the administration to the faculty, have been nothing but first class and an excellent school and one that I felt very fortunate to coach at the last four years,” Skaggs said. “I’d like to thank the school board and the administration for the opportunity four years ago to be the basketball coach at Pioneer. I felt it was a great opportunity and one where we had an awful lot of fun in the time we were there. Obviously this is another excellent opportunity and one that I felt would be a great fit for my family. It’s just too good of an opportunity to pass up.”

Skaggs was a middle school and high school science teacher at Pioneer. At Logansport, he’ll be the attendance officer at LHS.

“Coach Skaggs will be in charge of our attendance at LHS,” Logansport principal Matt Jones said. “He’ll be responsible for enforcing the rules and policies of the corporation for proper school compulsory attendance. He’ll work closely with the teachers, school counselors, administration, parents and students to make sure they’re in compliance with attendance laws and regulate and keep track of the attendance and tardies.”

Skaggs will be the first full-time attendance officer at LHS.

“We have spread this position, the tracking of attendance, around at the high school within the dean’s office and it hasn’t been as efficient by spreading it around,” Jones said. “We need someone to focus just on attendance. It’s an important part of school, obviously you have to be at school, and we need one person to focus in on that — tracking daily attendance to make sure students are in school.”

Skaggs was the attendance officer at Benton Central during his seven-year coaching stint there.

Skaggs is 280-206 in 21 years as a coach overall.

He started at Attica, where he coached for eight years and won a Fountain Central Sectional title in 1993.

He went 120-45 and won five sectional titles and two regional titles during his seven-year run at Benton Central. He coached Indiana All-Stars Ben Anderson and Blake Schoen at BC.

He coached for two years at Anderson Highland before taking time off for five years to coach his sons when they were younger before the family headed up north to Pioneer.

Skaggs’ son, Carter, is 6-foot-5 and averaged 18.7 points per game as a sophomore this past season at Pioneer. He shot 48.2 percent from the field overall, including 63 of 171 from 3-point range (36.8 percent). He went 75 of 82 from the foul line (91.5 percent).

Skaggs has two younger sons, Jack, who’s set to be a freshman at LHS next school year, and Sam, a middle schooler who will enroll at Lincoln.

Skaggs’ wife, Leslie, is a special education teacher at LHS.

The Berries went 12-9 this past season. They will be dealing with heavy losses to graduation next year.

“Logansport obviously graduated about 98 percent of their scoring this year,” Skaggs said. “With the brutal schedule that they play, next year could definitely be a lean year as far as wins and losses. But you can’t measure a team’s success just by that. Hopefully everybody will have a good work ethic and good attitude and will be coachable and there will be a nice transition.

“I know they have an excellent group of incoming freshmen. I know they graduated a lot from last year, but I feel like there’s some good kids coming up.”

Skaggs, who stands in at 6-7, was a star player at Anderson. He was an all-state selection for the Indians his senior year in 1979.

His Indians squad defeated Doug Jennings’ Argos Dragons in the Final Four in ’79. The two were later teammates for four years at the University of Indianapolis.

The Indians were defeated by Ray McCallum’s Muncie Central team in the ’79 state title game. The Indians made it to the semistate in 1978.

“Anderson, Ind. was an awesome place to grow up and to play in the Wigwam, which I feel is probably the greatest gymnasium in the country,” Skaggs said. “I was so fortunate to grow up in the time I did when the Wigwam was always packed and there were 6 or 7,000 season ticket holders, and the big rivalry games where you would have 8, 9,000 people there at the game. It just was a pretty special time and place to be there.”

Former Logansport coach Mark Victor announced he was resigning from the post during the team’s awards banquet on April 3.

Jones said he’s looking forward to Skaggs’ hiring.

“We’re really excited about adding him to our staff, not only being the attendance officer but as the boys basketball coach,” he said. “He brings a lot of experience and success building a boys basketball program, and I’m really looking forward to having him on board.”

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