Saturday was a good day to be a Roth from Bartholomew County.
Two coaches, both with the surname Roth, won tournament championships. Kevin Roth led Columbus Christian to its first National Association of Christian Athletes title in Dayton, Tennessee. Then that night, Griff Roth led Hauser to an IHSAA sectional crown at South Decatur.
The coaches are not related, nor are their paths to victory.
Kevin Roth, a Columbus East graduate, has been athletics director at Columbus Christian for 27 years. He started the basketball program in 2001 and has been its only head coach.
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Griff Roth was an assistant coach at Hauser, his alma mater, for 18 years and went into this year expecting to be in the same role. But when veteran head coach Bob Nobbe had to step aside because of health concerns just before the season began, Griff Roth was thrust into the main job.
After the Jets upset Class A No. 6 Oldenburg Academy 64-61 to claim their first sectional title since 2012, Nobbe was there to give his longtime assistant a big bear hug.
While the coaches aren’t related, two of Kevin Roth’s senior starters are related to Griff Roth. Logan Roth, who won Offensive MVP honors in the NACA tourney, is a cousin of Griff Roth. So is Evan Reed, whose grandmother is a sister of Dean Roth (Logan’s dad and Griff’s cousin).
“I’ve known Griff for a long time, and he’d always tease me about recruiting Logan to come up there and play because he’s family,” Kevin Roth joked.
Logan Roth and Reed were freshmen in 2014, when the Crusaders won their second state championship and finished runner up in the NACA Division V bracket. That was the second time in three years they had fallen by one point in overtime in the NCAA finals.
This time, Columbus Christian won 54-50 in the finals against at West Melbourne Christian team that came in 30-2 and had won the Florida Christian School tournament. The Crusaders had made the Indiana Christian Schools Athletic Association state tourney, but fell in the semifinals.
“You want to have an opportunity to win the state tournament,” Kevin Roth said. “Winning the national title is kind of icing on the cake. To come up short two times down there by one point in overtime, to win (Saturday) was pretty sweet.”
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at email@example.com or 812-379-5628.