Al Rhodes, the winningest coach in Penn High School Boys Basketball history, announced his retirement as head coach of the Kingsmen.
A Penn graduate and an Indiana Hall of Fame inductee, Rhodes crafted a golden legacy in Indiana high school basketball coaching. He is 693-329 overall in 42 seasons, including a record of 239-128 in 15 seasons at Penn.
“Having coached a Final Four team in each of five decades I’ve coached, I don’t think the game ever passed me by!” Rhodes said. “I have studied basketball all my life and am extremely proud of my past players and their successes on and off the court. I would also like to thank all my assistant coaches from all the schools I coached at. Also, I worked for great administrators and I appreciate all they did for our programs!
“Dr. Jerry Thacker here at Penn High School has been great to work for! His vision as an educator is tremendous and he brings out the best in all around him!”
“It has been a great ride and I have done my best!” Rhodes said.
Penn Athletic Director Jeff Hart said that Rhodes established a standard of excellence at Penn and in Indiana.
“Coach Rhodes’ legendary career speaks for itself,” Hart said. “As an Indiana High School Basketball Coach for 42 years, he ranks among the all-time successful leaders of the sport in our great state. What can’t be measured by wins and losses is the positive impact he’s had on countless young people during his career.
“From students in his math classes to the players and coaches in the programs that he’s led, he’s educated and mentored consistently with a “teacher’s heart,” Hart continued. “I’ve been fortunate to watch his leadership with character approach close up for the last several years and I’m a better person because of it.”
Notre Dame signee Markus Burton, the All-Time Boys Basketball leading scorer for Penn and St. Joseph County, said that Rhodes played a critical role in his development as a Division I basketball player.
“He believed in me more than anyone in Indiana,” said Burton, a frontrunner for the 2023 Indiana Mr. Basketball Award. “He believed in me as a Freshman. I appreciate his strategy for the game, and his relationships with his players. Everyone can relate to him and trust him. He’s helped me be the best I can be every day, and taught me to be a leader.”
In the past two seasons, Rhodes has guided Penn to a remarkable record of 52-5. This past season, Penn posted a 28-2 record and reached the Final Four for just the fourth time in the program’s 65-year history. Penn was also invited to compete in the prestigious Hall of Fame Classic this season.
Penn’s combined Varsity (28-2), Junior Varsity (20-2) and Freshmen (22-0) won-loss record in the 2022-2023 season was 70-4.
Rhodes coached Warsaw to a state championship in 1984, and while at Warsaw coached two players to the Mr. Basketball Award – Jeff Grose and Kevin Ault. Coach Rhodes also coached former UNC and Los Angeles Lakers star Rick Fox.
Coach Rhodes has also coached against the likes of former NBA greats like Shawn Kemp and Scott Skiles.
Rhodes’ teams have won 18 Sectional Championships, nine Regional Championships, four Semi-State Championships, and one State Championship.
In addition to his high school coaching, Rhodes has made an impact on the national and international scene. He has coached in the McDonald’s All-American Game, and been an instructor at the heralded Five-Star Camp, where he was inducted into the Five-Star Camp Hall of Fame. He was selected as an instructor for the Five-Star Camp in Turkey, and was an assistant coach on the Bahamas National Team. He also helped develop the Bahamas Basketball Youth Program, and was a director of the coaches development program in Australia.
Rhodes, who graduated from Penn in 1970, is grateful to his family and the Penn community as well as the many coaches who have influenced him.
“In 1967, I met the new Penn High School Coach, Jim Miller!” Rhodes said. “Jim taught us about pursuit of excellence and that the Indiana State Championship was the ultimate goal that could be achieved. For the past 56 years, I have pursued that goal with all my heart.
“The byproduct of what Coach Miller taught me has been a wonderful life! I have tried my best to be the best husband, father, teacher and coach that I could be. I owe everything to my parents, my wife, and Coach Miller!
“I would like to thank my wife Kathy for all of her support through the years,” Rhodes continued. “She is a very special person, nurse, mother, and wife! It is not easy being a basketball coach’s wife in Indiana. She has been a great one!
“As a father, I am extremely proud of my two sons, Chris and Curtis. They both understand pursuit of excellence and are building great lives for themselves and their families. I am glad they never complained about all the time I spent coaching.
“My sister Sandi has also added great support through the years! I really appreciate her coming to games and being there for me win or lose!”
Rhodes paid tribute to the coaches in his life.
“When I was a young coach, I was fortunate to learn from the best,” Rhodes said. “Besides Coach Miller, my coach at Tri-State, Mark Peterman, was a great small college coach.
“From 1975 on, I was trained by the best coaches Indiana has ever seen. My first year I worked for Basil Mawbey at Angola High School. Basil is the hardest working coach the State has ever known.
“I learned from competing against the best coaches in Indiana history: Bill Harrell, Sam Alford, Jim Hammel, Jack Edison, Bill Green to name a few.
“Finally, the greatest coach ever, John Wooden, was a constant influence in our program! The Pyramid of Success always played a major role!”
1982 Graduate of Indiana University (M.A. in Education)
1975 Graduate of Tri-State University (B.S. in Mechanical Engineering)
1974 Graduate of Tri-State University (B.A. in Mathematics)
1970 Graduate of Penn High School
2008-2023 Mathematics Instructor at Penn High School
2007-2008 Mathematics & PE Instructor at Northrop High School
2003 -2007 Mathematics & PE Instructor at Logansport High School
1980 -2003 Mathematics Instructor at Warsaw High School
1976 -1980 Mathematics Instructor at Warsaw Middle School
1975 -1976 Mathematics Instructor at Angola High School
1974 -1975 Physical Education Instructor at Tri-State University
2008-2023 Head Basketball Coach at Penn High School
2007-2008 Head Basketball Coach at Northrop High School
2003 -2007 Head Basketball Coach at Logansport High School
1980 -2002 Head Basketball Coach at Warsaw High School
1983 -2008 Coach at 5-Star Basketball Camp
1976 -1980 Assistant Basketball Coach at Warsaw High School
1975 -1976 Assistant Basketball Coach at Angola High School
1974 -1975 Assistant Basketball Coach at Tri-State University
2022-2023 28-2 Regional, Sectional, NIC Champions, Ranked No. 2 in Indiana. Selected for Hall of Fame Tournament. FINAL FOUR.
2021-2022 24-3 Sectional, NIC Champions ELITE EIGHT
2020-2021 12-12 Thirteenth Season at Penn
2019-2020 10-14 Twelfth Season at Penn
2018-2019 24-4 N. I. C. Champs, Sectional Champs, Regional Champs
FINAL FOUR. Penn’s third trip in 60 years!
2017-2018 14-10 Tenth Season at Penn
2016-2017 10-13 Ninth Season at Penn
2015-2016 11-13 Eighth Season at Penn
2014-2015 21-6 Seniors won record # of games in four years!
2013-2014 23-2 N. I. C Champs, Sectional Champs, ELITE EIGHT.
2012-2013 17-5 Northern Indiana Conference Co-Champs
2011-2012 10-13 Fourth Season at Penn
2010-2011 12-9 Third Season at Penn
2009-2010 16-8 Northern Indiana Conference Tourney Champs
2008-2009 7-14 First Season at Penn
2007-2008 10-12 First Season at Northrop
2006-2007 11-10 County Champs
2005-2006 16-7 County Champs, Sectional Finalist
2004-2005 7-14 Second Season at Logansport
2003-2004 5-16 First season at Logansport
2002-2003 0-0 Did not coach this season
2001-2002 21 -3 Northern Lakes Holiday Tourney Champs
2000-2001 15 -8 Northern Lakes Conference Holiday Tourney Champs
1999-2000 20 -5 Warsaw Holiday Tourney Champs, Sectional Champs, Regional Champs, Final Four.
1998 -1999 18 -4 Warsaw Holiday Tourney Champs, N.L.C. Champs.
1997 -1998 14 -8 Warsaw Holiday Tourney Champs.
1996 -1997 19 -5 Sectional Champs, N.L.C. Champs, Warsaw Holiday
1995 -1996 25 -3 Warsaw Holiday Tourney Champs, N.L.C. Champs, Sectional Champs, Regional Champs, Semi-State Champs,
1994 -1995 19 -4 N.L.C. Champs, Hall of Fame Champs, Warsaw Holiday
1993 -1994 21 -4 Sectional Champs, N.L.C. Champs.
1992 -1993 18 -10 Sectional Champs, Regional Champs, Elite Eight.
1991 -1992 26 -2 South Bend Holiday Tourney Champs, N.L.C. Champs, Sectional Champs, Regional Champs, Semi-State Champs,
1990 -1991 21 -2 Sectional Champs, N.L.C. Champs
1989 -1990 21 -3 Sectional Champs, Ranked #1 in State, South Bend Holiday Tourney Champs.
1988 -1989 15 -8 Sectional Champs, N.L.C. Champs.
1987 -1988 9 -12
1986 -1987 13 -10 Sectional Finalist.
1985 -1986 21 -4 Sectional Champs, South Bend Holiday Tourney Champs.
1984 -1985 23 -3 Sectional Champs, Regional Champs, N.L.C. Champs, South Bend Holiday Tourney Champs, Sweet Sixteen.
1983 -1984 26-2 State Champs N.L.C. Champs.
1982 -1983 14 -10 Sectional Champs, Regional Finalist.
1981 -1982 4 -18 Sectional Finalist.
1980 -1981 22 -5 Sectional Champs, Regional Champs, Semi-State Champs, Final Four.
OVERALL RECORD 693-320 68%
Teams Have Won: 63 Championships!
18 Sectionals 5 Northern Indiana Conference Championships 10 Northern Lake Conference Championships
9 Regionals 4 South Bend Holiday Tourney Championships 4 South Bend Holiday Tournament Championships
4 Semi-States 6 Warsaw Holiday Tournament Championships
1 State Championship 1 Hall of Fame Classic Championship
2 N.L.C. Holiday Tournament Championships
2 Cass County Championships
1 N.I.C. Tournament Championship
3 N. I. C. Championship
OVERALL I.H.S.A.A. TOURNAMENT RECORD: 101-41 71%
2023 First Coach in the history of Indiana Basketball whose teams went to the Final Four in Five different decades – Seven Final Four teams total !!!!!!! One State Championship ! Coached in 1,000th career game, NIC Coach of the Year
2020 Twelve 20-win seasons with 60 Championships !!!! Most wins for Basketball Coach at Penn High School
2019 Century Award from IBCA for over 600 wins!
2014 I. B. C. A. District One Coach of the Year
2014 N. I. C. Coach of the Year
2010 Inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame!
2007 Selected to coach North-South All-Star game
2006 Selected Loganland Coach of the Year
2005 Selected to coach in the McDonald’s All-American Game
2003 Inducted into Five-Star Basketball Camp Hall of Fame.
2003 Selected as Head Coach of Logansport High School.
2003 Selected as assistant coach for Bahamian National Team.
2003 Selected TEACHER of the YEAR at Warsaw High School.
2002 Started Al Rhodes Basketball School at Spiece Fieldhouse.
2002 Selected to develop Basketball Youth Program in Bahamas.
2002 Selected to run Junior Five-Star Camps in Indiana.
2000 Selected for 5-Star in Ankara, Turkey.
2000 Five Final Four Teams in Twenty Years.
2000 Completed 20th Season At Warsaw High School.
10 Twenty Win Seasons (18.5 Wins Per Year)
1999 Northern Lakes Conference Coach of the Year.
1997 Northern Lakes Conference Coach of the Year.
1996 Elected President of Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
1996 Northern Lakes Conference Coach of the Year.
1995 Selected as Head Coach for Indiana All-Star Team.
1995 Completed 15th Season at Warsaw High School.
8 Twenty Win Seasons (18.2 wins per year)
1995 Northern Lakes Conference Coach of the Year.
1994 Northern Lakes Conference Coach of the Year.
1992 I.B.C.A. District II Coach of the Year.
1992 South Bend Tribune Area Coach of the Year.
1992 Northern Lakes Conference Coach of the Year.
1992 Selected to Coach South Bend Tribune’s SunBurst Classic All-Star Team.
1992 Selected to Coach Hoosier Basketball Magazine’s East-West Classic All-Star Team.
1992 Selected to Coach Nancy Rehm’s All-Star Team.
1991 Northern Lakes Conference Coach of the Year.
1991 South Bend Tribune’s Winningest Coach of the Last 10 Years.
1990 Completed 10th Season at Warsaw High School
5 Twenty Win Seasons (16.8 wins per year)
1989 Selected to manage the Coaches Exchange with New South Wales, Australia.
1989 Northern Lakes Conference Coach of the Year.
1988 Represented Indiana in Coaches Exchange with New South Wales, Australia.
1988 Selected to Coach the U.S. All-Stars in McDonald’s Capital Classic.
1986 I.B.C.A. District II Coach of the Year.
1985 Selected as Assistant Coach for Indiana All-Star Team.
1985 Fort Wayne News Sentinel Coach of the Year.
1985 Tri-State University Distinguished Service Award
1985 South Bend Tribune Coach of the Year.
1984 Indiana Sports Writers Coach of the Year.
1984 Fort Wayne News Sentinel Coach of the Year.
1984 I.B.C.A. District II Coach of the Year.
1984 Huntington Tip-Off Club Coach of the Year.
1981 Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Coach of the Year.