Coach Bamrick inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

Entire family celebrates honor


Gretchen Bowers

Physical education department chair and varsity softball assistant coach Mrs. Linda Bamrick takes in the action from the dugout.

Annika Garwood , Reporter

Her students know her as their physical education teacher. Her softball players know her as coach. And after her induction last month, the entire state now knows her as a member of the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Linda Bamrick, physical education department chair and varsity softball assistant coach, was one of 12 women from across the state, a member of the 17th induction class, to be honored and was inducted into the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Bamrick coached women’s basketball for the Irish for more than two decades, and she was introduced to the sport as are many Hoosiers – at her own house.

From a young age, Bamrick was always outside shooting baskets in her driveway. “My parents instilled in my siblings and me the values of work ethic, dedication and the philosophy of basketball legend John Wooden, ‘It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.’ It was this mantra that served as my motivation to become a high school teacher and basketball coach.”

Bamrick said she was a three-sport athlete at Roncalli because she loved competing. When her father took her to Pacers games, she said she always kept stats while watching the game. At Roncalli she played four years of varsity basketball and was a member of the school’s first Sectional championship team.

Road to coaching

She said about her transition to coaching at Cathedral, “It was a huge learning curve. Honestly, it was overwhelming. There is are many responsibilities of being a head coach that is more than just X’s and O’s. It involved planning practices, setting a budget, putting a staff together, transportation, monitoring athletes grades, dealing with parents, identifying roles, videotaping, scouting opponents, posting stats, building team chemistry, developing fundamental skills, (doing) laundry and the list goes on. All this and also being a full-time teacher.”

Bamrick also noted that she was honored to coach seven Indiana All-Stars. She said she was blessed that the girls were not only talented basketball players but quality “individuals who were willing to accept their respective roles for the betterment of the team.”

When asked about one team that has stuck with her for many years, Bamrick said her 1992 squad was special because it was her first Sectional championship. “Also, the 1999 team (that) suffered a 72-71 loss in the State Finals after going undefeated the entire season was an unforgettable one, as they were 13-9 the year before but committed to each other in the off season to improve individual skills and build team trust and chemistry.”

Adding to that, Bamrick listed the lifelong lessons she learned while coaching women’s basketball: teamwork, talent doesn’t guarantee victory, dedication, commitment to excellence, trust and family lives on forever.

Bamrick’s husband, school counselor Mr. Greg Bamrick, recounted the moment Mrs. Bamrick and he found out about her induction. “She was upstairs talking on the phone as I overheard part of her conservation. I moved to our staircase once I realized the call was from the Hall of Fame. Tears began to fall as I realized that her extremely hard work was going to be recognized by the entire state of Indiana and beyond. That night would have not been possible without the sacrifices of her assistant coaches, players and managers throughout her 25 years at Cathedral.

“The entire day and night of Mrs. Bamrick’s induction will never leave our families’ hearts and mind. A very special moment for all of us. As Mrs. B told our family – ‘we did it.’”

Mr. Bamrick also called this a “family lifetime award.” Their children Elizabeth Bamrick ‘15 and Michael Bamrick ‘17 were just infants when their journey began.

He recalled two memories that fondly of their children. “Liz was securely held in her infant chair as we both coached and Michael was riding like a crazy boy in his Big Wheel as practice was underway in the WAC.”

Mr. Bamrick describes the memories that he cherishes. “I attended each and every one of her home and away games as her team’s bus driver and home public address announcer. Our kids traveled to away games in the team bus in their car seats and attended home games sitting with family and friends.”

“Unbelievable dedication to her players” 

Determined is one way Mr. Bamrick could describe his wife. “My wife gave birth to our first child, Elizabeth, on Nov. 7th. She was back at practice on Nov. 9 and coached the following night, (showing) unbelievable dedication to her players. Recently, Mrs. Bamrick was suffering from a terrible stomach virus on May 2, the worst I’ve seen in our 25 years of marriage. She was going to miss her first athletic contest. As Cathedral’s current varsity assistant softball coach, what was she to do? Against my advice, she got off the couch, dressed into her coaching attire and went to Brunette Park.”

Senior Brittany Ford has been coached by Mrs. Bamrick, although not in basketball, but rather in softball for four years. She explained what is feels like to have been mentored by Mrs. Bamrick. “It is honestly a true blessing and incredible feeling to be coached by someone who was inducted in the Hall of Fame. Coach Bamrick is very selfless and caring to every person she encounters. I’m so lucky to be able to call her a role model and a coach.”

Ford said her favorite trait of Mrs. Bamrick is that she is always full of energy. “No matter how tired she is, how much stress and work she has to get done, she always has a smile on her face. Coach Bamrick is always willing to build us up and be there for us even when she’s not having the best day.”

The senior also explained that the coach’s softball IQ is very high because she truly knows the game.

“My absolute favorite memory with Coach is when we won Regional my sophomore year. I’ve never seen such a big smile on her face. She was so happy and proud. It just felt so good to see her that way because she puts so much hard work into a team as a coach, so seeing it pay off (is) so awesome. She works so hard for us and she wants us to succeed. Nothing is better than seeing Coach Bamrick get excited. We all got happy tears as well.”

Ford concluded by saying that not only was Mrs. Bamrick a great coach, but also a mentor all four years of high school. She said that no matter the time of day or work that needed to be done, Mrs. Bamrick was ready to help and listen.

“It’s not surprising at all that she’s been inducted because she truly is an incredible Coach.

“She deserves it all. She works so hard for others that it is so nice seeing it all pay off,” Ford said.

Although Mrs. Bamrick has hung up her sneakers and put down the clipboard and marker, she remains a huge part of the school’s athletics program and physical education department.

She said, “It’s kind of surreal to comprehend that the little girls who grew up shooting baskets in the driveway would years later become inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Dreams really do come true.”