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ISSUE: Ron Bevars steps down at North Hardin
OUR VIEW: More than an outstanding basketball coach
Following a storied career and winning record that ranks him among Kentucky’s high school hard-court elite, Ron Bevars has made public his decision to step down as head basketball coach at North Hardin High School. In doing so, he leaves behind a legacy many coaches aspire to but few achieve.
Bevars began his career in Warren County where he coached at North Warren Middle School.
After one season in that position, he came to Hardin County as an assistant at North Hardin High School under then-coach Wally Johnson. In 1975, Bevars was named head coach of the Trojans after the first-choice successor to Johnson unexpectedly left. As is often said of individuals like Bevars who achieve excellence in what they do, the rest is history.
When looking back on his 38-season tenure as the Trojans’ head coach, Bevars modestly stated, “I’ve had a good run.” One look at this record easily bears evidence that it hasn’t been just a good run, but a great one.
Bevars first win as head coach at the high school level was a 78-76 victory over his alma mater East Hardin High School on Dec. 2, 1975. From there, he went on to amass an astounding 805 victories to rank as the fourth most in Kentucky basketball history. His record includes a total of 17 17th District Tournament titles, 12 5th Region Tournament championships which also equal a dozen Sweet Sixteen appearances plus a 1982 state championship runner-up title.
His Trojans achieved 20-plus game winning seasons 21 times under his leadership. Not only is this record an amazing accomplishment, but to have done it all as the head coach of one high school over a career of 38 years is incredible.
Asking the coach what he remembers and values most about his time at North Hardin, he quickly replies without hesitation it is the players and the assistant coaches he’s worked with throughout the years. More impressive is what they have to say about their coach.
For them, Bevars has held much more important titles than the many wins and championships they achieved together.
He has been a father figure where none was present; a provider in times of need; a protector for a player whose parent was killed; an encourager where players needed hope; a disciplinarian when correction was necessary; a cheerleader for players not just on the court but in the classroom. He not only taught the fundamentals of the game, but will forever be known among his players as a coach who opened his heart to them.
Will Bevars’ Trojans of past years remember their victories won on the court? Yes, they will. But much more importantly, they will remember all he invested in their lives to help mold them into the men they are today.
Thanks, Coach Bevars, for the memories. Most especially, thank you for the life lessons you instilled in hundreds of young men during your time at North Hardin. Yours has been a career that has been well-played producing a legacy that will live on.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.