By David Hughes
TERRE HAUTE — Today’s column focuses on someone who retired from what he loved doing, only to change his mind and plan a return this summer.
Sorry, I don’t have phone or e-mail access to him, although I do feel bad for Aaron Rodgers through this whole Green Bay quarterback controversy.
No, I’m referring to Steve Higham, who stepped down as Terre Haute North High School’s girls golf coach in the summer of 2006.
Just like with Favre, the itch is back. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Higham, 57, guided the Patriots’ girls team (1983-2006) and their boys team (1981-2003) on his way to induction into the Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame. At various times, he also served as assistant boys basketball coach and head girls basketball coach at North.
In September 2006, I wrote a tribute column about his career in which he said: “I think it’s time for somebody else to take over. It’s been a great experience for me. I’ve been blessed to be around such great girls.”
While Higham never stopped teaching math at the high school, he couldn’t stay away from coaching too long. The big difference now is he’s at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, which recently started a women’s golf program.
Higham has already begun recruiting for the 2008 season, although he doesn’t anticipate fielding a full team until 2009.
Triggering his change of heart was a phone conversation between St. Mary-of-the-Woods athletic director Deanna Bradley and Higham.
Unlike the Favre fiasco, in which the Packers accused the Minnesota Vikings of tampering, there won’t be any charges filed against The Woods.
“Coach Bradley called me in May and wanted to know if I was interested,” Higham recalled.
Intrigued at the possibility, he discussed it with his family and with North administrators, who offered their complete support. So he interviewed for the job and The Woods announced his hiring late last month.
“It was a situation where I was honored to be asked,” Higham said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
“St. Mary-of-the-Woods is an outstanding academic institution,” he continued, explaining one of his reasons for accepting the challenge. “As much as I love sports, academics comes first.”
Higham added that he and St. Mary-of-the-Woods should be a good fit because both want golfers who enjoy the sport and expect to graduate.
Now with summer halfway over, it’s time to get down to business.
“To be honest, I missed [coaching] a little bit after all those years of being around the kids and the course,” he admitted. “If we can get six or seven girls who want to play and are interested in continuing their golf careers, we’d be interested in them.”
Higham hopes the Pomeroys can become competitive sooner rather than later.
“It could be next year or it could take two or three years,” he said. “You just don’t know.”
One thing we do know: It’ll be nice to see Higham back on the course.
I I I
Catching-up-after-vacation tidbits — It’s too early to congratulate Jason Pensky, because he hasn’t taken that long walk yet.
But WTWO-TV’s longtime sports director plans to marry former WTWO news reporter Leanne Tokars on July 26 in Chicago.
If Pensky doesn’t develop cold feet and he actually goes through with the wedding, then feel free to congratulate him afterward (insert smiley symbol here).
n Patrick Rady, who resigned as head boys basketball coach at Southwestern (Hanover) High School this summer, hopes to join his Hall of Fame father Pat Rady on the boys staff at Cloverdale.
Patrick has already been approved to teach business at the Putnam County high school. He coached five seasons at Southwestern, where his Rebels finished 12-12 and upset state-ranked Hauser 65-58 before losing to state-ranked Lawrenceburg 62-57 in the Class 2A sectional last season.
Patrick Rady, 38, previously served as an assistant under his father for several years at Terre Haute South.
n Terre Haute socialites know The Copper Bar, 810 Wabash Ave., as a place where Indianapolis Colts players, including Peyton Manning, occasionally gather to unwind when the NFL team is in town for preseason training camp.
Well, next week won’t do anything to hurt the bar’s reputation for providing sports-related fun.
On Tuesday, a show-car replica of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer’s No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet will be on display between 6 and 9 p.m. There is no charge and all ages are welcome because the event will take place outside the bar.
Copper Bar co-owner Rick Lundstrom said a Jack Daniel’s Racing representative will “fire up” the car. Fans will be allowed to have photos taken next to the car (but not in it) and with the “Jack Daniel’s Girls.” There also will be giveaways and raffles.
Lundstrom mentioned that the same car will be displayed earlier Tuesday — from 1 to 4 p.m. — at Bowers 7th and 70 Liquor, 3305 S. Seventh St.
Then next Friday, several Colts cheerleaders will be outside The Copper Bar from 6 to 8 p.m. Photo opportunities, autographs, giveaways, raffles and Colts-related games are on the agenda. Again, there is no charge and all ages are welcome.
In case there’s rain either day, a tent will be set up in the parking lot next to the bar to accommodate these events.
Maybe I’ll see you there.
David Hughes can be reached by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at email@example.com; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.