Rady imparts his values at Cloverdale

Friday, March 11, 2016
Clover coach Pat Rady celebrates winning the Southmont Sectional Championship Saturday with his wife Jonna and his daughter Hanna. Rady and the Clovers are set to take on Northeastern Saturday at Greenfield-Central. (Banner Graphic/JAY LOCKETT)

CLOVERDALE -- After 761 wins and 51 seasons as a coach, Pat Rady, the 2014 National Coach of the Year, stepped aside, retiring as the second-winningest head coach in Indiana high school boys' basketball.

However as Pat watched his son Patrick take his former Clovers though the gauntlet at the No. 44 IHSAA Sectional tournament last week, Pat was a bundle of tension as he cheered for his son and the CHS players.

"It was very nerve-racking. I stayed away Tuesday," Pat Rady said. "I asked my wife and she couldn't come Friday night. I did and I have to admit it. I went into the locker room in the fourth quarter. I was so nervous. I wanted him to win so bad because I know how much time he's put in it."

Patrick Rady got his head coaching start at Southwestern (Hanover) but he has been interested in the job for as long as he can remember. It all started when Patrick was cut from his father's Terre Haute South team that included Division I players like Tony McGee, who went on to play for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hoping to one day be a coach, a high-school aged Patrick asked his dad if there was anything he could do to help the team.

"I said that you could still be a coach," Pat said. "Most people think you have to be a player to become a coach. It's not true. I told him just to study the game. Be a student of the game and be around coaches. Ask them questions."

Former Cloverdale coach Pat Rady was there to embrace current CHS coach Patrick Rady after the 59-53 win over Monrovia in the Southmont Sectional final on Saturday. (Banner Graphic/JAY LOCKETT)

Patrick did just that and he took his job seriously. While doing stats for THS, Patrick was also able to coach a sixth-grade team in Terre Haute in 1988 and then while in college he coached in middle schools around the area, gaining the necessary experience before taking a teaching post at Terre Haute South. There he was an assistant under Pat for nine years.

While under Pat Rady, Patrick said he enjoyed learning all he could from the Hall-of-Fame coach. That fact has been true of Patrick since his earliest years of watching Pat coach.

"That was my boyhood idol," Patrick said. "I can quote five or six different pregame speeches. I was like a little kid and my mom would tell you, my brother was always around flirting with the cheerleaders and break dancing when breakdancing was popular. We were always around the players but I was wanting to be around the coaches."

Pat, sensing his son's aspirations, did everything he could to show Patrick what coaching was all about.

"He took me places," Patrick said. "He took me to watch coach (Bob) Knight's practices and coach (Paul) Patterson at Taylor. He allowed me to sit around in meetings. He showed me how to coach. That it was important to seek from other coaches and you learn. Then you take one coach's philosophy with another coach's philosophy and you put together your own unique identity. He's always been very supportive."

The observation of the young coach paid off when Patrick was asked to coach at Southwestern. He took the Rebels from a 6-16 to a .500 team in five seasons before stepping away.

"We got to the sectional championship twice there in five years. But always fell a little short," Patrick said. "So I had had some experience with coaching but to get that first one, the win on Saturday night. That was something special."

Patrick said the biggest difference between the two head-coaching jobs is his approach to the job and his priorities.

"I've put God first," Patrick said. "I've put my faith in Him. That was the big reason for me. When I evaluated my coaching the first time, I was away from my family a lot and I didn't have my priorities set as a coach. It was just about basketball."

While at Cloverdale, Patrick has strived to make sure that the experience is different for not only himself but also his family.

"This go-round I want to make sure that I continue to put God first, my family second and then basketball," Patrick said. "That is the biggest difference for me. I said I was going to do things differently if I got the opportunity to become a head coach. I thank Mr. (Sonny) Stoltz for giving me that opportunity.

"Like I said I've put Him first," Patrick continued. "My wife is a big influence on me. She keeps me grounded with the scriptures she sends me. She is very inspirational to me. In this profession you've got to have the support of family."

The Cloverdale ball club has adopted the philosophy of family with the athletes and coaching staff all working to become as close as they can as the season has progressed. Patrick hopes he has set the example for his players they way his father set the example for him and his brother. Patrick said he remembers watching the way Pat treated his wife Margaret and also the way the team members were like an extended family.

"I think it is important for these guys to see the love for my wife and my love for my daughter," Patrick said. "We are not just developing basketball players here. We are developing young men. The world needs that. The world needs guys that have love for their spouse, love for their daughter or son and that take care of them. That's what we want here in this program for these guys to be successful men of character."

Patrick also compared his daughter to Sheryl Yoast, the daughter of Bill Yoast in "Remember the Titans," who was more enthusiastic about film study than some players.

"My daughter Hannah is very supportive," Patrick said. "She loves to watch game film with me. She'll ask me what I think about something. She loves Stephen Curry. She's got a coach's mentality. She can't wait for me to get back home and talk about the game. So I've included my family more and it's more gratifying. That's the big difference."

With the family included, Patrick Rady has done what he wasn't able to do at Hanover and Pat Rady is as proud of his son as a father could be.

"He has done such a great job of coaching," Rady said. "From where they started to where they are now as sectional champs and Putnam County champs. We are very proud of him. We are so blessed because we have a good reason be proud of both (Patrick) and Michael. Both our sons have achieved in their professions."

Michael Rady works for Pepsico and heads the HR department in five states is looking to expand. Pat said he had to cut both of his sons but if he could do it again he may not cut either one.

"They have both done well so it didn't hurt them," Pat said. "They've both done well in their chosen fields. To see (Patrick) go up that ladder and get that sectional championship I just can't explain it," Pat said. "But I'm just so happy for him. It's icing on the cake."

The season isn't finished yet as the Clover boys travel to Greenfeild-Central Saturday for a regional match with Northeastern.

Cooper Neese, who has played two years under Pat Rady and one year under Patrick, said not much has changed during the transition adding that Patrick is a bit more fiery than his father at times.

"The change in heart is about the same," Neese said. "They both equally love the game. We've been coached almost the same way. It's a little more intense in practices but they are both great guys. If you sat there and they were teaching you basketball you really couldn't tell the difference. So like father like son. It's been awesome to have both of them."

Patrick is happy to have his first sectional title but said he is equally pleased with the way the town of Cloverdale has rallied around the team in this time of success.

"Jim Valvano used to say that your life isn't really whole until you are part of something that is bigger than yourself," Patrick said. "Our kids can realize that this is bigger than themselves. They are playing for the school and the community. The town was painted green last week. The windows. People are coming in droves.

"These boys have an opportunity to bring a community together," Patrick continued. "In this day and age, where there is so much hatred out there, and you can bring a community or a school together, it's something that is special. That's what high school athletics can do for a community. It's great for our kids to see this. People love when a collective group come together for a common cause. That's when we came up with the "All in for Cloverdale."

Cloverdale has been lucky to have such a storied basketball history and have also been lucky to have such a prolific coach at the helm in Pat Rady. However with the great season at hand, CHS could perhaps be witnessing the humble beginnings of another storied coaching career.

"When Patrick won the county, I sent him an email the next day," Pat said. "I remember when another young coach won his first tournament and that one also happened to be the Putnam County Tourney. That coach was your dad 50 years ago. Ironically later that year we won my first sectional at Bainbridge while coaching. So it's kind of unique to see our son take both of them 50 years later. He's done real well."

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