Gobert to be inducted into Hall of Fame

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Terry Gobert didn't want to coach baseball when he broke into the coaching ranks nearly 20 years ago.

"I actually wanted to be a basketball coach," Gobert said via telephone interview Wednesday, only two days before he will be inducted into the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

"It means a lot," Gobert said of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. "It's a nice reward for doing this for a long time and doing the best I can.

"I'm really excited about it. It's a neat thing."

Gobert was a three-sport standout at Greencastle High School, where he graduated in 1979.

He played baseball under Stan Ward for the Tiger Cubs, but also played football and basketball from 1976-79.

Following graduation from Greencastle, Gobert attended Indiana University and then did his graduate work at DePauw University, where he served as a graduate assistant under Ed Meyer in basketball and baseball.

He then started teaching at Jasper High School, where he served as an assistant football coach and an assistant baseball coach, under the director of then-coach Ray Howard.

"He was really a good, fundamental coach," Gobert said. "I really enjoyed working for him."

In fact, Gobert said Ward, Howard and Meyer all are the reason he ended up coaching baseball.

"They all got me fired up about baseball," Gobert said.

Gobert took over the reigns at Jasper in 1988 and 19 years later, has accumulated a 475-150 record, including five state championships. His Wildcats won the Class 3A state title last year and he said jasper won the last single class state title as well. He is also the only coach to have won back-to-back state championships in the single-class format, winning three straight crowns in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

His teams have won 16 sectional, 11 regional and seven semistate crowns, as well as the five state titles.

Gobert, 45, said he was fortunate to start coaching at a young age.

"I'm lucky I was pretty young when I started," he said. "But I knew I wanted to do it."

Since coaching at Jasper, Gobert has worked with three players who were drafted in Major League Baseball, including St. Louis Cardinal starting third baseman, Scott Rolen.

Rolen was named Indiana's Mr. Baseball in 1993 and was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies.

"We knew he was good," Gobert said. "But we didn't know he was that good."

In addition, Phil Kendall, another player who played for Gobert at Jasper, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1996, and the state's 1997 Mr. Baseball, Matt Mauck, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1997.

Mauck, however, was also a quarterback who was going to go to play at Michigan State University. He played professional baseball until heading back to college at Louisiana State University, where he played on the 2003 national championship team under Nick Saban.

Gobert has attended the Hall of Fame banquet for 25 years. He said he'll have to brush up on his speech skills before Friday.

"I would sit back and listen to these guys talk and think, 'am I going to coach long enough to get there,'" he said. "But I don't think you get there by accident.

"It's quite an honor."

The banquet will take place at the Sheraton in Indianapolis at 7 p.m. Friday.

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