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Chickadaunce honored for coaching exploits

Posted Thursday, October 1, 2009, at 10:16 PM

(Photo)
Former Sullivan High School principal and boys cross country coach Ed Chickadaunce (right) and current SHS principal Chris Stitzle are all smiles after the cross country course at Sullivan was named the Ed Chickadaunce Trail recently. Chickadaunce and Stitzle pose in front of this year's Golden Arrows cross country teams. (By B.J. Hargis/Greene County Daily World).
SULLIVAN -- It was a couple of weeks ago when I was covering a high school cross country meet here involving Bloomfield and Union (Dugger) and the host Golden Arrows.

It was my good fortune to be there when former Sullivan High School boys cross country coach and later principal Ed Chickadaunce had the newly designed course at the Sullivan Middle School named after him -- the Ed Chickadaunce Trail. If any cross country fans, runners and coaches from Greene County faced Sullivan in the late 60s through the early 90s, they would have run across, no pun intended, Chickadaunce.

The quiet man with dark wavy hair, who literally carried a big stick (more about that later), was not easily missed. Chickadaunce, who poured in 74 points on Jan. 27, 1960 for Prairie Creek (now part of Terre Haute South) in a 96-73 victory over Jasonville, stands at least 6-5.

Chickadaunce, who still lives in Prairie Creek, was cross country coach at SHS from 1969 to 1993.

His Golden Arrows teams, led by state qualifier Chad Smith (1993), won an incredible 55 straight dual matches over a couple of undefeated seasons.

Smith was one of several people in attendance to honor "Chick."

"Chick was a big part my life when I was a student athlete and also when I was a teacher at Sullivan High School," said Smith, who now teaches and coaches at Northview. "I couldn't think of a more fitting name for this course.

"Chick was a big part of Sullivan High School for over 30 years as a teacher, coach, educator and administrator."

For many years as a physical education teacher, a boys basketball coach and later a principal at SHS from 1992 to 2005, he was known to carry a very big paddle and have a powerful swing with the right hand that Albert Pujols would be proud to call his own.

Believe me when I say that as a student you did not want to get into trouble and have their parents approve corporal punishment (in later years) when Ed roamed the halls at SHS as Dean of Boys and later principal.

Chickadaunce compiled a dual meet record of 253-78 during his cross country coaching days. He won seven conference championships and had several teams that advanced to the regional.

"As much of an impact as he had as principal at Sullivan, he might have had even more of an impact as a cross country coach," said SHS athletic director Otto Clements, the long-time football coach of the Golden Arrows.

When I previously worked at the Sullivan newspaper, I spent a few days hitching rides with Chick to various regionals and semistate events. As he always said, "What you hear in the van, stays in the van."

When I was new in this business and the newspapers in Sullivan and Linton went to press in the early afternoon instead of at night, I could always expect his call with cross country results the next morning, first thing.

He was firm, fair and honest as the day is long. He always tried to do the right thing and respected the rights of everyone.

I can honesty say that my little life is better because of my experiences with Chick (how often can you say that about anyone ?), who now spends as much of his retired life on the golf course as possible.

Although there are many detours and divots on the path of life, I expect things will be pretty smooth on the Ed Chickadaunce Trail.

B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or hargisbj@yahoo.com.


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I never had the pleasure of having Chick as a coach, but during my four years as a football player, wrestler and track athlete, chick was in attendance for the majority of these events no matter how far away and was always there to offer advice.

its a great honor to know such a great person that has influenced many lives!

-- Posted by TDavid on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 1:29 AM


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Enough said
B.J. Hargis
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