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Igel doesn't like facing former coachesPosted Thursday, February 12, 2009, at 10:54 PM
There is one fact of life in coaching. At some point, you are going to have to face one of your former coaches or former players.
For Eastern Greene boys basketball coach Andy Igel, he takes no particular pleasure when this occurs.
"I just hate it," Igel said. "You want to win the game, but it is bittersweet if you do because a good friend in on the opposite end of things."
Such was the case recently when Igel's Thunderbirds met Jamie Hudson's Bedford North Lawrence Stars at Bedford.
Hudson's BNL squad came away with a 69-53 victory, giving him two wins in a row against his former mentor.
The Stars also defeated Eastern Greene 58-35 a year ago at Toby Yoho Gymnasium.
Igel won the first meeting against Hudson, beating his Rivet team 42-36 during the Greene County Invitational in January 2004.
"Coach Igel has been a great influence on my life," said Hudson, whose Stars are 11-6 so far this year. "I was able to work for him for two years at Eastern.
"I learned a great deal from him."
Hudson, a 1995 Eastern Greene grad, said it was Igel who helped him jump start his coaching career.
"He got me my first varsity job at Rivet," said Hudson, who worked on Igel's staff during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. "He was the best man at my wedding.
"I have the utmost respect for what he taught me about coaching basketball. But more importantly I am thankful about what he taught me about life and being a dad and a good husband. He has taught me a lot about life. I love him to death."
Hudson, a graduate of Indiana State University, said he takes some pleasure in having a 2-1 in their career meetings.
"The first time when I was at Rivet was really hard," said Hudson, who has a 19-19 record in his two seasons at BNL and is 42-41 overall in his brief career, including going 13-9 at Rivet in 2004. "It is difficult when good friends have to go up against one another.
"We are both competitive and both want to win. He got the best of me at the Greene County Tournament when I was at Rivet. I paid him back for that last year and now am one up on him."
Hudson said he looks forward to the challenge of playing the Thunderbirds.
"The part you enjoy is matching wits with Andy because we know how each other's teams want to play," said Hudson. "I also enjoy playing Eastern because I know we are going to get their best shot.
"Going back to the days I played for coach (Mark) Barnhizer, the Eastern Greene basketball program is one of the best in southern Indiana. Coach has continued to build that program throughout his 13 years at Eastern."
Hudson coached JV at BNL for two seasons before going 8-13 in his first varsity season in 2007-08. He said that he wants to do well, not only for himself, but for Andy.
"When you work under him, it is nice to see how he helps you along your own way after you leave," he said. "You want to make him proud and you don't want to let him down, because what you do is a reflection of him.
"We talk on the phone all the time. I talk with coach about two or three times a week. We have a great relationship."
Hudson said he is not nearly as animated on the sidelines as Igel.
"At some point in every game, he jerks his coat off," said Hudson, who is assistant athletic director at BNL as well as teaching sixth grade physical education classes. "I remember one game where he tried to loosen his tie from the wrong end and almost choked himself to death.
"That is just coach."
Hudson said that other lessons he has learned involved his family.
"I try not to take losing out on my wife and kids," he said. "The one thing that coach teaches you is family comes first.
"There have been times where I was mad as a hornet, but my little girl doesn't care if I lost."
Igel and his wife Diane have five kids. Jamie and his wife Brooke have three kids -- Kyler, 8; Kenady, 4; and Keylee, 3 -- and another one on the way.
"We both have two great wives by our sides," he said. "That makes our jobs a lot easier.
"He has five children and soon Brooke and I will have four. That is another thing that I am trying to keep up with him, but we have one more to go."
Igel said there are several of his former assistants or players coaching throughout the state, including Trent Lehman at Fort Wayne Blackhawk; Jerry Rauch is a varsity assistant at Southridge; Keith Huntington is a varsity assistant at Bloomington South; former EGHS guard Levi Carmichael is a varsity assistant at Paoli; South Knox girls coach C.J. Carie was Igel's assistant when he coach at Vincennes Rivet and Gene Hall is the varsity coach at White River Valley.
"I have a lot of great memories and friendships that I have developed in my years of coaching," said Igel. "I was lucky to have great mentors in Dave Worland, now a principal at Indianapolis Cathedral and Kenny Schulties and Hugh Schaefer.
"I am very glad to see all of these guys be successful. I am in contact with all of them. I was best man in Jamie's wedding. I am always looking in the paper to see how they did. Trent Lehman won the state at Speedway (2001-02). I am close with Gene as well. The friendships you make and the relationships you have with players and coaches are the most rewarding parts of this business."
B.J. Hargis is sports editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at email@example.com.
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