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Bob Gaddis and Dave Land have worked together in the Indiana Football Coaches Association for more than three decades.
So it was fitting for Gaddis that he won the state’s highest coaching award that is named after the legendary former high school and college coach. Gaddis was named Wednesday as this year’s Dave Land Coach of the Year as part of the Indiana Mr. Football and Position Awards.
“When coaches think of the Indiana Football Coaches Association, they immediately associate with Dave Land,” Gaddis said. “He’s a very good friend of mine, so that makes the award even more meaningful to me.”
Gaddis led the Olympians to a perfect 15-0 record this season, culminating with a 28-27 win against Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger in the IHSAA Class 4A state finals. He is 135-29 in 13 years at East and 253-129 in 34 years overall.
The state championship was Gaddis’ first as a coach.
“It’s a great honor,” said the 58-year-old Gaddis. “Like I’ve always said about postseason honors for players, it’s about the type of team that you have. I have a great coaching staff and a great team. I’d like to think it’s their honor also.”
This is the fourth year for the Dave Land Coach of the Year Award. The winners are picked by 60 IFCA members — 10 in each of the six classes — and the IFCA executive officers.
“When your peers do it, it’s very humbling to be named coach of the year by guys that you have a lot of respect for around the state,” Gaddis said.
Land coached at Wes-Del and Delta High Schools in Delaware County and was an assistant at Ball State University. He was first secretary of the IFCA, has been its executive director for 35 years and now is assistant executive director for the national coaches association.
Gaddis has been assistant executive director of the IFCA for the past five years and will succeed Land as executive director in March.
“I’m very pleased that Bob got that (coach of the year award),” Land said. “He’s very deserving. A lot of coaches that I know were excited for Bob when he won a state championship. He’s been a very positive influence with the association and has had a very successful program there at Columbus East for a number of years, and it looks like they might be pretty good again next year.”
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