High School - The Zone

Legendary Lawrence North basketball coach Jack Keefer retires

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After 46 seasons on the bench at Indianapolis prep boys’ basketball powerhouse Lawrence North High School, Wildcats coach Jack Keefer is calling it a career.

Keefer arrived at Lawrence North in 1976 when the school opened its doors. He retires after one of the most-decorated high school basketball coaching careers in the country, headlined by the second-most wins (865) in Indiana High School Athletic Association history.

Keefer will speak at a news conference Friday morning at Lawrence North High School, the school district said in a news release Thursday night.

Revered for his intensity on the sideline, and his trademark shirt and tie dress, Keefer was inducted in 2007 to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame after one of the most dominant stretches of success in state history.

The Wildcats –led by the nation’s top prospect, 7-foot center Greg Oden, and top-20 prospect point guard Mike Conley — won three consecutive IHSAA Class 4A boys basketball state championships.

During the incredible run, Lawrence North set the state record with 50 consecutive victories, which resulted in Keefer winning the 2005-2006 National Coach of the Year honor.

Oden and Conley went on to star as freshmen at Ohio State University, leading the Buckeyes to the national championship game in 2007 against Florida. Both jumped to the NBA that spring, with Portland selecting Oden No. 1 overall and Memphis taking Conley No. 4 overall.

Keefer’s Wildcats won 19 sectional titles during his tenure, and annually placed in the most competitive postseason region of the state.

The Ball State University alum’s coaching career started at Frankfort High School before a brief stop at Oak Hill High School near Converse.