TERRE HAUTE —
Chris Barney knew what qualities he wanted as he was searching this winter for a new assistant baseball coach at Vincennes University.
He wanted someone familiar with his program and his coaching style, someone from the Wabash Valley area who understood the state’s high school and American Legion programs, someone who had played several different positions in the field and also someone who had made a successful transition from junior college to Division I baseball.
It didn’t take him long to realize that Cole Vicars was his man. The 2007 Terre Haute South grad excelled for VU in 2008 as an outfielder and 2009 as an infielder, then moved up to D-I at Alcorn State — where he dusted off his pitching arm and helped hurl the Braves into the NCAA Tournament in 2011.
Vicars spent the past two years coaching a Terre Haute South summer travel team and completing his history degree requirements at Indiana State. He’s now ready to take his coaching career to the next level.
“After finishing my playing career I decided I wanted to become a baseball coach, but realized I needed to graduate before doing so,” he said. “I really enjoyed coaching the South team the past two summers with Shane Abrell, and I knew I wanted to continue to coach at the collegiate level.”
Vicars heard that the VU position came open, and immediately went to work on landing it.
“I gave coach Barney a call letting him know I was interested in the position,” he said. “After going through the interview process I was lucky enough to get offered the job and get started with my coaching career.”
Barney is thrilled to bring a former VU player back to the program, and has a lot of different jobs in store for Vicars.
“He’ll be involved in all facets of the program, working with pitchers, hitters, infielders and outfielders as well as staying busy with recruiting,” Barney said. “I’m pleased that we’re able to give an alumnus an opportunity to get his foot in the door at the collegiate coaching level and it allows him to chase his passion — coaching the sport of baseball.”
South coach Kyle Kraemer has known and coached Vicars for a majority of his life, and predicts success for him at the collegiate level.
“Cole will do a great job and is a great fit as an assistant coach for coach Barney and Vincennes University,” Kraemer said. “I believe Cole’s biggest and best attribute as a player, and will surely be as a coach as well, is his tremendous competitiveness. This is what I remember most about Cole.
“I am quite sure Cole will take this same competitive approach to teaching and coaching the pitchers and infielders as well as recruiting for Vincennes University.”
Kraemer also recalled that while Vicars was not an imposing physical figure on the athletic fields, his skill and toughness overcame any such obstacles.
“Let’s not forget his athletic ability in leading the boys basketball team to the Final Four as a 5-foot-8 point guard and also leading the baseball team to the sectional title,” Kraemer pointed out.
Vicars played for three different coaches in college, and figures to adopt some of all their methods — along with those of Kraemer — in developing his own personal style.
“I’m going to use the different aspects I learned from them three that helped me achieve success as a player,” Vicars said. “I’m excited to get my coaching career started and thankful coach Barney has given me the opportunity. I played under coach Barney as a sophomore so I’m familiar with his coaching style and believe it’s a great fit for me to start my coaching career.”
Vicars said his long-term goal would be to become a D-I head coach, but he also wouldn’t mind either the D-II or junior college levels.
Barney added that Vicars is the epitome of “the right fit” for the job.
“We’re extremely pleased to welcome Cole back to VU,” he said. “His relationships with coaches in the state all give him a great network to help us with recruiting.”
• • •
• Greene starts pro career — Rockville graduate Luke Greene will be heading to the wide open spaces of Montana this summer to begin his career as a professional baseball athletic trainer.
Greene graduated May from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in athletic training. Last summer, he took an internship with the Kansas City Royals, and after returning home the Milwaukee Brewers offered him a job as the trainer for their Pioneer League team in Helena, Montana. He will be joining the team later this month for spring training in Phoenix. He is a 2008 Rockville grad and played his first two collegiate seasons at Lake Land College. Greene worked this winter as an athletic trainer with Clay Community Schools.
• Combs to SMWC — Riverton Parke High School senior Kelly Combs has signed a national letter of intent to play softball for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College next fall.
“It is honestly my dream come true,” Combs said. “I have wanted to play for St. Mary’s ever since I was a little girl.”
Combs plans to study elementary education and gain a minor in Mild Intervention (special needs) at SMWC.
“The student-to-teacher ratio is small there, like it is here at Riverton. I think I’ll feel really comfortable there.”
Combs hit .402 in her junior season and has been named to the all-Wabash River Conference team three times.
She is the second RPHS player to sign with SMWC in the last year as former Panthers star Sarah Burnham is now on the Pomeroys’ roster after spending a year at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Illinois.
• Chew honored — North Vermillion grad Bethany Chew, a third-year St. Louis College of Pharmacy student, received the Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete Award at the school’s fall sports awards banquet recently.
Chew was the No. five runner for the STLCOP this fall, and helped the team to a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet.
To be eligible for the award, athletes must maintain a 3.5 grade-point average as a junior or above.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vincennes assistant coach remembered for his toughness
TERRE HAUTE —
Chris Barney knew what qualities he wanted as he was searching this winter for a new assistant baseball coach at Vincennes University.
Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers
No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
Todd Golden: Sycamores ran with the best
It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge
When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
Robinson leads No. 12 Michigan over Indiana
Glenn Robinson scored 20 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:10 to play, and Jordan Morgan had a double-double in his final home game to help No. 12 Michigan finish off its Big Ten championship season with an 84-80 victory over Indiana on Saturday night.
Michigan (23-7 15-3) avenged last year’s defeat in the last game of the regular season. In that game, Morgan’s tap-in rolled off the rim as time expired, giving the Hoosiers the victory and costing the Wolverines a share of the conference title.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals
It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 23 points to lead Indiana State to a 73-71 win at Drake on Thursday. The point guard led four Sycamores in double figures in the win.
Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win. The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
Indiana State men's basketball player Brenton Scott was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Saturday for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana/hash, possession of paraphenalia and false reporting/informing.
Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
VIDEO: Munn has made her mark on ISU women's program
Anna Munn has been a dependable leader in the Indiana State women’s basketball program. Her leadership has helped coach Teri Moren build to back-to-back 10-or-more win seasons in the Missouri Valley the last two years.
Rose-Hulman wins third straight HCAC tournament crown
Tied with Hanover 26-26 at halftime of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball championship game Saturday night, host Rose-Hulman knew it had a couple of things in its favor.
Rolling along: Third straight victory helps Sycamores tie for second in MVC
Aside from Teri Moren sticking with her pink Chuck Taylor shoes on the sideline for superstitious reasons, Indiana State’s three-game winning streak can be explained by strong play in nearly every aspect of the game.
Sycamores stay positive in face of adversity
After Indiana State’s 77-59 loss at Illinois State on Wednesday, ISU players had an idea of how the tone of Thursday and Friday’s practices would be prior to today’s regular-season finale against Northern Iowa.
Engineers, Hanover to vie for HCAC title
For the second year in a row, the men’s basketball teams of Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship in Terre Haute.
Metro: ISU softball win streak reaches 6
Indiana State improved its college softball winning streak to six games Friday by beating Wright State 4-3 and IUPUI 3-2 on the opening day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic.
- More College Headlines
- Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers