Longtime Medora coach still going strong on sidelines


When Brad McCammon arrived at Medora High School 33 years ago, he was unsure how long he would stay there.

Now, he couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.

McCammon grew up in a small community in Greene County, and he said he felt right at home in Medora.

“I came from a town of 500,” McCammon said. “This community has been good to me. I enjoy coming to work every morning. It’s been an honor to be here 33 years.

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“Jim Gabbard was my high school principal and was principal here, and when I was finishing up at Indiana State he asked me to come over for an interview. My first question was: where is Medora? He asked me if I had ever been to Seymour and I said ‘once.’ He said Medora is on the way.”

McCammon graduated from Linton-Stockton High School in 1978.

He played basketball for one year at Winchester Christian College in Lexington, Kentucky. When that college closed he transferred to Indiana State University.

He began teaching and coaching at Medora in 1984.

“I started coaching basketball and baseball here,” McCammon said. “After a period of time I decided to go back and get my principal’s license at Oakland City University in Bedford. That’s when I became elementary principal, and I followed that up with high school principal for 10 years. I got out of the athletic director’s job, and now I’m back into it, and I’m back in the classroom.

“At a small school that’s typical. When I was elementary principal I was actually elementary principal, technology director and athletic director for a period of time.”

McCammon was head boys basketball coach his first two years at Medora. He also was head boys coach for one year later in his career, and has coached cross-country and track and field over the years.

“The first year I was here we played at Heltonville,” he said. “We even loaded the popcorn machine, the pop machine — back then we even did fountain drinks — and took it all over there, and played our home games there.

The following year we played in this gym, and the first game we played was against Orleans. I was fortunate enough to be the first one to coach a game in that gym.”

The following season, Jim Stewart became head coach.

“He thought there would be resentment, but I was delighted,” McCammon said. “That first year he was here he had Johnny Budd as his assistant coach.”

Budd left the following year, and McCammon became assistant coach, and he and Stewart worked together for 10 years before he began coaching in the girls program.

McCammon has coached 63 boys’ varsity games, 180 boys’ JV games and 304 girls’ varsity basketball games for a total of 547 games.

“I’ve had a lot of bus rides,” he joked.

McCammon is in his 14th season as head girls coach at Medora.

He said you have to make adjustments and utilize your team’s strengths.

“Years ago it was more of a patterned offense, and people walked the ball up and ran your power game,” McCammon said. “Today, you’ve got to be able to get up and down the floor. You’ve also got to take advantage of what you’ve got.

“The key thing that makes the whole machine run is you’ve got to have kids that understand all five positions on the floor, not just their position with the ball in their hands. You’ve got to have a great point guard and you’ve got to make that extra pass. Those three things make you a good team. If any of those things fail you’re struggling.”

There are now 10 players on the roster after the team began the season with eight players.

In past years McCammon had to play with six or seven players, and hasn’t played a junior varsity schedule in recent seasons.

“I’m thrilled with 10,” McCammon said. “It’s amazing with six, seven, eight kids in practice the things you’ve got to come up with just to simulate game situations because you can’t really run an offense against a defense when you have those numbers.

“With us having 10, it’s been great because with those teams that were very successful, when I had 10 or 11 kids you didn’t have to run as many drills, you ran more game situations, and you could set up things with the clock and try to run through those things.

“This group is starting to get into that. It’s kind of funny, because the first couple times they were dragging a little bit because they weren’t used to having that type of practice. Now it’s more of a full-court environment and special game situations. I guess experience is the best teacher. You can preach it, but until they live it, it opens their eyes a little bit.”

McCammon said basketball transcends past the court.

“Yes, we’re dealing with kids academically in the classroom, but when you’re with them athletically you see a whole different side of that kid, but not only that the kid sees a whole different side of you,” he said.

“When they see you taking an interest in their activity they respond to you in the classroom. You walk down the hallway and the kids will ask if I’m going to be at their home game that night. They just want you there to be part of their life. That’s a big thing to them.”

McCammon said a lot of people thought when his youngest daughter graduated he would stop coaching girls basketball.

“It was nice to be involved when my kids were playing, but now is the most fun I’ve ever had,” he said. “You’re guarded when your daughters are on the team, you think ‘are you treating them the same, are you treating them more harsh?’

“Now I’ve got 10 kids and I love them all the same and I don’t have to worry about that. None of them are related to me. It’s just play ball and instruct them what you want to do. You treat them equally and it’s been a lot more fun. There’s not the pressure thinking you’re giving somebody favoritism.”

Brad’s oldest daughter, Kelsey, graduated from Medora in 2010, and youngest daughter, Carley, graduated in 2015. Both played for him.

“It was a nice honor to coach them, but sometimes it was not nice when you went home,” McCammon said. “It was kind of funny when you went home.”

He said there were a few times when he had to, “go home and mend fences. A coach’s daughter takes a lot of heat. Expectations are high for your daughter.”

Coaching basketball is a passion for McCammon.

“I love the aspect of the time that you get to spend whether its young men or young ladies,” McCammon said. “You watch them mature and learn life lessons. Yes it’s nice to win, but win or lose seeing those kids mature and be part of something, and if you’ve team chemistry, you have accomplished something. I told them they have to keep their heads up because the younger kids are watching.”

McCammon said he enjoys his role as athletics director when he gets to visit with officials and athletics directors he has worked with over the years.

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