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After Bob Howe retired as Jennings County boys basketball coach in March, one name came to the forefront as his replacement: Mike Broughton.
But when the Jennings school board voted on Broughton’s candidacy in March, it was rejected by a 4-3 vote.
Earlier this week, with the 2012-13 school year quickly approaching, the board — or at least one member — changed its mind. Broughton, the school’s athletics director the past four years, was approved by a 4-3 vote.
“It was a mix of things that happened,” Superintendent Terry Sargent said. “We talked about it, and I think the board came to realize that Mike was truly the best person for the job, and he brought an incredible amount of talents to the table. He’s a Hall of Fame basketball coach. He’s already here in house.”
Broughton, 57, who took Jeffersonville to the state’s final four on four occasions and led the Red Devils to the 1993 state title, was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in April. He spent three years as an assistant under former Butler coach Barry Collier at Nebraska and five as head coach at Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City before coming to Jennings in 2008.
At that point, his coaching days appeared to be finished.
“My first couple years at Jennings County, I thought about being a varsity coach in either high school or college. But as life went on and I turned down some varsity positions in the state, I felt in the last year, my coaching days were over,” Broughton said. “In the last 18 months as AD, I enjoyed AD work and time I could spend with my family and grandkids. So this is a big surprise to coach again.”
Especially after the board’s original vote.
“After being voted down in the spring, I thought through a state or national search for a coach, JCHS would have a new coach in place by the first of the summer,” Broughton said.
On July 10, the board authorized Sargent to go back to Broughton and ask him to consider coaching again.
“It wasn’t real difficult mostly because I think he had the best interest of the boys in the program at heart,” Sargent said. “He wanted what was best in the program. He knows them all well, he knows what their talents are, and he just really wanted to see them blossom and really, really have a good basketball program over the next couple of years.”
Broughton will replace Howe, who went 30-16 in two years. The Panthers had gone 5-37 over the previous two seasons.
“Bob Howe did a really good job of making Jennings County basketball competitive again, and I think Mike will take that to the next level,” Sargent said.
“I just hope the other coaches don’t pick on me because it’s been a long time since I’ve coached high school basketball,” Broughton added. “I just hope they don’t pick on the old guy.”
The Broughton file
Name: Mike Broughton
Occupation: Athletics director and boys basketball coach at Jennings County
Coaching accomplishments: Went 350-145 with four final four appearances and a state championship as a high school coach from 1970 to 2000 ... named Indiana All-Star coach in 1996 ... spent three years as an assistant coach at Nebraska ... complied a 109-55 record in five years as head coach at Southern Nazarene University ... inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in April.
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