THE COACH DIDDLE STORY … From Those Who Knew Him Then
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Augenstein Alumni Center, 292 Alumni Avenue
Presented by Gary P. West
Panel: Darel Carrier, Ronnie Clark, Bobby Rascoe and Jim Richards
Even 50 years after his death, Coach E.A. Diddle remains one of the most successful coaches in the history of college sports.
A pioneer of the fast break and one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history, Diddle had a gift for spotting unpolished talent and molding them into outstanding athletes who often exceeded expectations. Upon his retirement in 1964, he had won more games than any other coach in NCAA history and still ranks among the top 16 today.
Join author and syndicated newspaper columnist Gary West as he explores the life and legacy of EA Diddle through conversations with four of Coach Diddle's former players: Darel Carrier, Ronnie Clark, Bobby Rascoe, and Jim Richards.
Gary P. West began his freshman year at Western in 1961. Writing for the student newspaper he wrote stories on Coach Diddle, Darel and Harel Carrier. Later in 1981, he became the first executive director of the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation where he also broadcast basketball games with legendary Wes Strader for 13 years. He has authored 14 books, writes a syndicated newspaper column, and is a frequent writer for Kentucky Monthly magazine.
Darel Carrier didn’t have to travel far in 1963 from Bristow High School on the outskirts of Bowling Green when he joined Coach Diddle at Western. From the beginning he was a point-producing machine and earned All-American honors. One of the leading scorers in Western history, his retired jersey hangs from the rafters of Diddle Arena. He later played for Phillips Oilers and the ABA Kentucky Colonels where he was named as one of the all-time greats in the American Basketball Association.
Ronnie Clark was a high school basketball standout from Henderson, Kentucky. Played for Coach Diddle in the 1953 Kentucky-Ohio All Star game before playing for him as a Hilltopper from 1953 to 1957. Ronnie has served as a Western Board of Regent, a bank president and Mayor of Franklin, Kentucky.
Bobby Rascoe was an All-Stater from Daviess County High School before playing for Coach Diddle beginning in 1959. Bobby made numerous All-American teams and is one of the all-time scoring leaders on The Hill. He played professionally for the Phillips Oilers and ABA Kentucky Colonels. His jersey was retired and hangs in Diddle Arena.
Jim Richards came to Western in 1956, where he became a standout baseball player for Coach Diddle. There are very few people more identified with Western than Jim. After winning the high school state championship at Glasgow in 1968, he joined the basketball coaching staff at Western. In 1972, he became the head coach. Other roles he had were Assistant AD, golf coach and Director of Alumni Affairs.