Hopkins latest to step into Loogootee pressure cooker

Michael Hopkins, welcome to the pressure cooker that is Loogootee boys’ basketball.
Hopkins, who posted a 4-39 record as coach of the rebuilding Washington Catholic High School girls’ basketball program the past two seasons, was named Loogootee’s new boys’ coach at a special board meeting on Thursday night.
Hopkins, a Barr-Reeve graduate, replaces former coach Mike Wagoner, who resigned earlier this month and later became an assistant at South Knox.
Reading between the lines it was obvious that Wagoner tired of the pressure swirling around his alma mater. He coached at Loogootee for 29 seasons, including the last six as head coach, before resigning earlier this month. He posted a six-year record of 90-44, including the 2012 Class A state championship, but it was never enough because he wasn’t Jack Butcher. There were even rumors that Butcher would become the new coach. C’mon, already. Butcher, the winningest coach in Indiana prep history, is 84 years old.
Loogootee athletic director Josh Mullis released the following statement to the media: “The Loogootee Community School Board accepted the recommendation of Michael Hopkins to be the next Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach at the heralded program. The appointment for Hopkins is for the 2014-15 season only. The Lions will begin the 2014-15 campaign on Saturday, Nov. 29th versus Irvington Prep.”
I wonder if Hopkins knows what he is getting into. Nothing is ever enough for the Loogootee fans. Wagoner played on Butcher’s 1975 team that advanced to the single-class state championship game. But wake up, people. Those days are long gone.

–Gordon Engelhardt

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