Patrick Rady to step down as Cloverdale boys’ basketball head coach
A calm and sunny morning was pierced with a surprise announcement coming out of Cloverdale Monday.
Patrick Rady announced on social media in the morning that he would be stepping down as head coach of the Clover boys’ basketball team ahead of the 2022-23 school year, a day before the next Cloverdale Community School Board meeting.
Rady was 100-77 at Cloverdale in seven seasons at the school and 141-147 in 12 years as head coach, including five years at Southwestern (Hanover). Rady also spent time at Terre Haute South, Sarah Scott Middle School, Honey Creek Middle School and at the Terre Haute Boys’ Club in different coaching capacities, many spent as an assistant to his father Pat Rady, Sr.
In his message, Rady said he had spent several months working on his course of action. Rady will remain as a teacher at Cloverdale.
“After the season ends, you always evaluate and what I wanted to do was to take some time off to make sure it was something that I wanted to do and to take the emotions of a long season out of things,” Rady said. “I was tired after the grind of last season and started thinking about things.
“I talked to other coaches who have gotten out to get their thoughts. I talked to my wife and daughter, who both played a major role in all of this. As a man of faith, I turned to prayer to clear some things from my mind.
“After doing those things, I wanted to see our spring workouts but, with a lot of kids in spring sports, we didn’t have a lot of kids there, though this fact didn’t have anything to do with my decision,” Rady added. “This summer, I realized that right now, I couldn’t give the kids and the program 100 percent.
“I’ve said when I can’t get up and give 100 percent to the kids, I needed to think about things and decided it was the right time to step back.”
Cloverdale principal Sonny Stoltz and athletic director James Wade were both informed of the decision during the prior week with Rady wanting to make sure both heard directly from him before announcing his decision publicly.
“I talked to both JJ and Sonny last week and both of them were very supportive,” Rady said. “I wanted to make 100 percent sure before talking to them as they’ve been loyal to me and allowed me to coach.
“Both of them have been supportive with the things we’ve needed and have been so in every way during my 14 years of coaching at Cloverdale.”
Rady was on hand at the school Monday morning to inform the current boys’ basketball roster of his decision before the team began its practice session, which was handled by assistant coaches Karl Turk and Daniel Varnes.
“The kids seemed to handle it well,” Rady said. “I was honest with them as; we’ve taken pride in our selves and as a program on being transparent and they understood.
“I told them I’ll still be teaching and plan on being around. I’d love to be a Roy Williams at North Carolina, getting to come back and see those guys make a great run in the state tournament and doing well.
“We’re a team where they’re young kids but they’ll give the same effort for the next coach,” Rady added. “I told them I still plan on being there to support them and once we were done, they went and practiced with our assistant coaches.”
Rady said he had discussed the matter with both Turk and Varnes before making his formal decision and thanked both for their input and support during the past few months.
“Coach Turk and I have been friends for 20 years, having been together in three different places, while I’m close with Daniel and the Varnes’ from a family standpoint as well,” Rady noted. “They could probably tell that I was getting close to making a decision.
“They weren’t surprised but were still supportive during the process and thanked me for everything as I thanked them for their support. As is the case with anyone in the process, you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with.”
Having grown up wanting to emulate the work of Rady, Sr., who won 761 games in 51 years as a head coach, the younger Rady jumped into coaching as a senior in high school at the Terre Haute Boys’ Club, working with the sixth-grade basketball team, before moving through the middle school ranks in the Vigo County School Corporation. Rady would get his first head coaching position at Southwestern (Hanover) before serving as an assistant to Rady, Sr. at Terre Haute South High School before both came to Cloverdale.
However, a number of factors, including the amount of time needed to be wholly dedicated to the sport, as well as Rady’s daughter, Hannah, beginning her senior year at Anderson University, swayed Rady that the time was right to step away from the game.
“At this point, I’m 52, I’ve got three more years of teaching before I can draw a pension and while I won’t close the door on coaching again, I am looking forward to having three former players playing college basketball to see, two of whom are seniors who I will hopefully get to see at their senior nights and conference tournaments, as well as a daughter who is a senior playing her last year of volleyball and will enjoy going to watch her play,” Rady said. “Right now, I’m going to use this time to watch others and watch other games.
“You never say never but right now the door is closed. If I do get back, it won’t necessarily be to be a head coach; maybe a middle school coach or an assistant for somebody somewhere as the game has meant a lot to me and I want to be able to give back to it too.
“Right now, the day-to-day grind is a lot for where I’m at and is a part of me wanting to step away and leaving at the right time,” Rady added. “I felt good about our season last year as we competed, we were right in games but the season did wear on me and that’s when I started to think about how much longer I can do this.
“Basketball is becoming a year-round job with workouts in the fall and spring and summer league and workouts. It’s definitely a grind if you’re doing it right as a coach.”
Beyond his more recent players are now the children of some of his earlier athletes, a fact that Rady said was one of the most rewarding parts of being a coach.
“There’s an incoming eighth grader who is the son of a former player of mine and the connections you build as a coach is one of the most rewarding parts of the job,” Rady said. “As a teacher, you see kids 30-45 minutes a day but coaching is almost an extension of family.
“When you get the opportunities that I’ve had, having started coaching sixth graders as a senior in high school to 34 years later being a coach at Cloverdale, with a minimum of 10 players on a team, I’ve probably coached close to 400-500 different players in different programs. That’s a lot of lives and connections you make and it’s rewarding to see not only them but their offspring play.”
The search for a new head coach will begin in earnest once Rady’s resignation is confirmed, and while the departing head coach said there were capable coaches still on the Cloverdale staff, he would give his full support to whomever the school asked to take over the mantle.
“That will be the call of both Wade and Stoltz and I will support whoever they select,” Rady said about whoever was selected as the next Clover head basketball coach.. “As a head coach, you pride yourself on your assistants wanting to be head coach and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t want Karl to get the job, as both a fellow coach and a friend of 20 years.
“When I left Southwestern, I wanted one of my assistants to get the job as you spend so much time with them that they’re like family. That said, it isn’t my decision, but whoever is chosen, I will support them and the kids all the way.”
Wade said Rady made his own mark on the program over the past seven years and was a mentor not just about matters on the court for the players that came through the program.
“First off, Patrick did a fantastic job for us for the last 14 years with seven as assistant and seven as head coach,” Wade said. “He has been a great part of our success, winning three sectionals as head coach and a fourth with his dad.
“He was always a great role model for the boys, taught them more than basketball and really did a great job for us.”
The coaching search itself will get under way after the girls’ basketball team returns from Vincennes with Wade looking to discuss several topics with the outgoing coach in the meantime.
“The timing wasn’t good in our regard because I’m currently at Vincennes University at a team camp but we’ll post the position as we have to, look at the applicants and go from there,” Wade said. “We don’t have anything set in mind at this point.
“Once I get back, I’ll have an in-depth conversation with coach Rady and we’ll go from there.”
With his exit, Rady said he appreciated all of the connections he had made in the sport, many of which will carry on through the years, and also thanked those who helped make the game and high school sports in general an important part of the community.
“One of the things I’ve often enjoyed, as far as this job goes, is the relationships you make and build with different people like the officials, other coaches and administrators,” Rady said. “Those are things that I dearly hold true as there is something special about the connections you make.
“Even talking with media members, guys like Joey Bennett, Doug Woukon and others who make high school sports special is something that is special to be a part of. I’ll miss those media talks, sitting with Doug during the Coaches’ Corner and helping promote the sport.
“We have been blessed in Putnam County to have those things and they are things I will miss, the camaraderie from the team and those outside the program,” rady added. “I have thoroughly enjoyed that time with all of them.”
Rady also thanked the people of Cloverdale who have backed the team and school, his many former players and everyone involved in the school and community for their support over the years.
“There’s so many people involved that I can’t name them all,” Rady said. “The community at Cloverdale loves basketball; in some of the past few years, they’ve come out in droves and we won games because of the crowd, even going so far as to talk to people from other schools who said they couldn’t believe how many fans we brought with us, so I’d like to thank them for their support.
“I’d like to thank all of the players who played for me as the time and effort they gave is something special for those of who are in this profession. I’ve enjoyed my time at Cloverdale and will continue to do so as a teacher.
“I love the school, the community and it was where my daughter graduated from,” Rady added. “While I felt it was my time to step back from coaching, they’ll still have a big fan bleeding green in me.”