What happens when you put seven highly competitive, incredibly successful basketball coaches in the same room?
If you’re Robbie Valentine, you already know that answer: You score.
When the former University of Louisville player learned that Greater Clark County Schools superintendent Dr. Stephen Daeschner had conceived of an initiative that would allow all kids in the school district to take the ACT well before they reached high school, Valentine conceived of a way to fund it.
“The ACT initiative was Dr. Daeschner’s brainchild,” said Valentine. The popular event that will help fund it? “That brainchild was mine.”
On Tuesday, June 7, hundreds of people will gather for the second annual Coaches Raising the Bar for Kids at Kye’s II in Jeffersonville, Ind. to listen to a line-up that includes some of Kentuckiana’s most notable coaches, including Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean, former University of Louisville men’s basketball Coach Denny Crum, University of Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips, Bellarmine University men’s basketball coach Scott Davenport, University of Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz, Indiana University Southeast men’s basketball coach Wiley Brown and Jeffersonville High School girls’ basketball coach Chad Gilbert.
“They’re volunteering their time,” said Valentine, a member of the Greater Clark County Schools board. “It’s just a great event, and we’re thankful they come out to support it.”
That’s because the initiative is important, said Davenport. “As a coach, any time you can get kids education-wise, it’s huge. … But we’ve got to help all school systems. We’ve got to get better. We owe it to the young people.”
For Brown, being involved in the endeavor is part of passing a torch. “I’m a first-generation college graduate. I’m the only one in my family who has graduated from college. … Getting your degree is very important. I hope to help share that (belief).”
Yes, the mission of Coaches Raising the Bar for Kids is serious, said Davenport, but the event itself is, well, an absolute ball. “Are you kidding?” he laughed. “All those coaches together? If you do that on a night and for a great cause? You can’t beat it.”
Added Brown: “I think we had more fun last year than the people that attended.”
Writer Angie Fenton can be reached at 502.551.2698 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coaches Raising the Bar for Kids
Hosted by the Greater Clark County Schools Educational Foundation
All proceeds from the event will fund the GCCS Educational Foundation’s ACT Testing Initiative.
When: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, June 7.
Where: Kye’s II in Jeffersonville, Ind.
Featuring: Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean, former University of Louisville men’s basketball Coach Denny Crum, University of Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips, Bellarmine University men’s basketball coach Scott Davenport, University of Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz, Indiana University Southeast men’s basketball coach Wiley Brown and Jeffersonville High School girls’ basketball coach Chad Gilbert.
Cost: Tickets range from $30 to $3,000. For more information contact Renee’ Markoski at email@example.com or 812.283.0701, or stop by one of the many locations of Your Community Bank.
Category: Cover Stories
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.