MUNCIE, Ind (WISH) — Students and staff at Cowan Jr. Sr. High School are grieving the loss of long-time basketball coach Lee Arthur Ken Ingles, who was killed in a crash on I-69 Monday.
Ingles commuted from Westfield to the school in Muncie where he coached and taught physical education for seven years. A crowd of about 200 gathered in the Muncie parking lot to hold candles and share memories in his honor.
Current students, former students, families and staff took part in the vigil, including graduate Colin Kear, who played for Ingles.
“He was a mentor, he was probably one of my most influences in my life in school and out of school. On our shirts each year, we would have on the back our shirts ‘family,’ that’s what it’s all about at Cowan, is family,” said Kear.
His mom Lisa agreed, saying the Ingles became family to everyone.
“His youngest son played, he was a year older than Colin and him and Colin were pretty good friends and they were gonna coach this year and him and his wife were just such special people and it’s really hard, hard on everybody,” said Lisa.
Athletic Director Suzanne Crump said Ingles truly loved his job at Cowan.
“I know he loved coming here to work every day, always had a smile on his face, always said hi to every student he walked by so he’s going to be greatly, greatly missed by everybody,” said Crump.
The last game Ingles coached and won was sectionals. It was the school’s first time in 44 years.
Coach Ingles made an impact on kids who didn’t play sports as well, like Cherish Orick who was in his 7th grade PE class.
“We won’t have that funny person anymore cheering us on, seeing him in the hallways every day. It’s gonna be a change,” said Orick.
Indiana State Police are looking for witnesses in the crash that killed Ingles. You can call the ISP Pendleton Post at 1-800-527-4752, at the attention of Detective Mark Hanna. You can also make a witness statement in person at the Pendleton Post, 10922 South State Road 67.