Carmel sports legend Bill Shepherd Sr. dies at 91

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Bill Shepherd Sr., a former Carmel High School basketball coach and athletics director, has died, according his family. He was 91. 

He died Thursday morning in Wellbrooke of Carmel assisted living center, according to his daughter.

CHS athletics director Jim Inskeep tweeted about 8:20 p.m. Thursday: 

Our thoughts and prayers to the Shepherd family with the passing of Bill Shepherd. Mr. Shepherd was a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, father to Mr. Basketball’s Billy (1968) & Dave (1970). Mr. Shepherd was also Athletics Director for Carmel’s first 41 state titles.

In 1975, William Shepherd was named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, according to his bio on the hall’s website. Shepherd played for Hope High School. In 1945, Shepherd helped Hope to its only sectional and regional basketball championships in the school’s history. 

Shepherd also played basketball and baseball at Butler University. He held the Butler single-season batting average record (.418) for over 50 years, according to his bio on the Butler website.

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Later, at age 31, he was boys basketball coach at Mitchell High School from 1949-58, his daughter Cindy Shepherd McCurdy said. 

He was boys basketball coach at Carmel from 1958-1970. He coached Carmel to the runner-up spot in the state championship in 1970. His lifetime coaching record was 336-145, including a 50-game home winning streak at Carmel in 1967 through 1970.

Two sons he coached at Carmel were named Mr. Basketball recipients: Billy in 1968 and Dave in 1970.

As Carmel High School athletics director, he helped the district add girls sports and swimming. He retired in 1992. 

His daughter said Thursday night, “He was the most loving, compassionate and kind man I’ve ever known. His family was always first.”

He is survived by his children, Billy (and his wife, Connie), David (Sally), Cindy and Steve, 15 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Monday at Carmel United Methodist Church. The funeral will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at the church. A Celebration of Life will be from 3-6 p.m. Tuesday at the church.

Burial will be private.