(6-6-20) -The Loogootee Lions have won 30 Sectional Championships, 10 Regional Championships, 4 Semi-State Championships, and 1 Indiana High School Athletic Association class 1A state championship in 2012. But the 1975 team is the team everyone remembers.
Although Milan’s championship in 1954 was the one that showed that small schools could compete with the big schools in the IHSAA single class tourney (pre-1998). The 1975 Lions made a lasting impact as one of the best ever to represent small schools in Indiana.
Loogootee grad and Hall of Fame head coach Jack Butcher led the Lions, he would coach 45 seasons (all at Loogootee) and end his career with a 806-250 record, including the 27-1 run in 1975. The Lions only loss came to Indiana powerhouse Marion in the State Final game 58-46. The Giants, who were coached by Hall of Fame coach Bill Green, would repeat again as the State Champions in 1976.
Butcher retired in 2002. in Butcher’s final season as the Lions coach he went 15-7, he had only two losing seasons — in 1957-58, his first year, and in 1991-92. He won at least 20 games 14 times, including 2001 when the Lions lost to eventual Class A champion Attica in the tourney semistate.
The coach’s kid Bill Butcher led Loogootee in scoring, assists and steals during an undefeated regular season and reaching the IHSAA state championship game. He scored 1,349 points during his career, on teams that won four sectionals, compiling an 84-16 record. Butcher was one of fourteen to join the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
The Lions were known for slowing it down, they held Columbus North to just 27 points in the State semifinal game. Working the basketball for the good shot…there was no 3 point FG in 1975.
This is how they did it –
1975 IHSAA State Championship: Marion 58, Loogootee 46
1975 – Loogootee vs Seymour – Semi-State Championship (Audio)
Did you Know this…
Coach Butcher, a Loogootee grad, was a member of the 1951 Lions, helping them to the Regional Finals.