For 11 years, Ray Eddie was boys basketball coach at Madison High School. Markers around town will remind you of the 1950 championship, but this was only the finish line of his winning tenure. Consider the following summary:
In 1939, Eddy moved to Madison, Indiana and became the Head Coach for the Madison Cubs. In his 11-year tenure, Eddy’s teams won 10 Sectionals, 6 Regionals, 3 Semi-States & 1 State Championship (1950), his 1941 and 1949 teams finished as the State Runner-Up.
He didn’t start winning here. He won 3 sectional titles at Tell City in the 5 years before coming to Madison. He was also a standout player at Purdue and teammate of John Wooden. Here is a clip from his biography on their website.
(He) became a three-time letterwinner in basketball (1930-32, 1933-34) … won two undisputed Big Ten crowns as a three-year starter and averaged 6.1 points per game ýover his career … in 1932 was the second leading scorer on the National Collegiate championship team and was captain and an All-Big Ten forward for the 1934 conference championship team.
After Madison came his tenure at Purdue, a job turned down by Wooden only a few years before. Overall he was just on the winning side 176–164 (.518). Certainly a frustration after his earlier success at the High School level. Sports Illustrated carried several quotes from Coach Eddy after his resignation.
“I’m only 53,” says Eddy of Purdue, “certainly not retirement age, but I’ve been coaching 31 years and, believe me, there were no pressures I did not cause myself.”
If they all agreed on anything, it was that recruiting became a misery. “It’s dog-eat-dog,” says Eddy.
I’ve always been pretty wild at games, but I could always calm down. The last couple of years I found I was unable to calm down, to get control of myself.”—Ray Eddy, Purdue.
Another interesting note from the Purdue article: honored by the A.G. Spaulding Company as the coach who originated the orange basketball that is used today.
The following pictures are from the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Eddy’s death was reported in the Madison Courier, although the win record for his High School conflicted with more in-depth stories linked above.
The following book about Indiana Basketball has a nice section on the Madison 1950 championship season. (link)