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Comparison of Mike Wagoner and Jack Butcher numbers after each coach's first 4 years


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#1 Molina Mafia

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:32 AM

The following was written by a man named Stacey Bowling. I found it to be an interesting read so I thought I would post it so those that wish may read it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
At this time last year, everyone was talking about whether or not Coach Wagoner should be fired. Of course, right now no one is carrying torches and pitchforks, because Wagoner's team brought home a Sectional trophy. Still, as someone who just moved back to the area after a long absence and is blissfully unaware of whatever politics and gossip might have been at play last year, I'm in the pleasant position of being able to look purely at the on-court results.

I've heard people say Mike has been unfairly compared to Jack Butcher. Clearly Jack was one of a kind, and there will never be another like him. Some people say we need to be careful of chasing off coaches in pursuit of the next Butcher. Other people say, "Well, surely we could come closer to Butcher than THIS". Hey, here's an idea: Let's actually COMPARE Mike Wagoner and Jack Butcher, in terms of their on-court success. To make it apples-to-apples, I looked at each man's first four years. Looking much beyond that seems silly – Wagoner would have to coach until age 95 to have as many years as varsity coach as Jack had. Butcher truly is one of a kind, never to be matched, because virtually no one stays at ANY job for 45 straight years anymore. Onward to the numbers…

Jack Butcher took over a team that was 11-11 the previous year, and went 11-12 his first year. Mike Wagoner took over a team that had gone 4-18 the previous year, and went 12-9 his first year. Advantage: Wagoner

Butcher won 70.65% of his games over his first four years, going 65-27. Wagoner isn't done with his 4th year yet, but his overall record will be somewhere between 63-24 (if the Lions lose to Evansville Day on Saturday) for a winning percentage of 72.41%, and 67-23 (if the Lions win four more games and take home a state championship) for a winning percentage of 73.63%. Advantage: Wagoner

Butcher's teams lost in the Sectional each of his first three years, before winning a Sectional in his fourth year (subsequently losing the first round of the Regional). Wagoner's teams lost in the Sectional each of his first three years, before winning a Sectional in his fourth year (Regional results TBD). Advantage: Tie.

I also tried to look at records against individual teams in each coach's first four years, but that got messy, because too many consolidations have occurred since 1961. For example, Wagoner's teams play against North Daviess, Barr-Reeve, and Pike Central, where Butcher's teams played against Odon, Montgomery, Petersburg, Elnora, and Plainville. The key differences I found were 1) Butcher was 7-2 against Montgomery while Wagoner is 2-3 against Barr-Reeve (Advantage: Butcher), and 2) Butcher was 1-4 against Odon while Wagoner is 4-2 against North Daviess (Advantage: Wagoner).

Draw whatever conclusions you want, but as far as I can tell, both of these guys look like really promising young coaches, after their first four years.

Edited by 12 in 12', 07 March 2012 - 11:05 AM.




#2 LHSFan2

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:49 AM

Nice job and good info, but is only good for the short term. No way we will be able to compare entire careers, obviously, because no way Wag is around 45 years at Loogootee !!! Wag is already 53 years old. ;) I would also be interested in strength of schedules as the years progressed. I would bet LHS played more 2A, 3A and 4A type schools during Butchers tenure and before this class system. So, even in the long term I think you are comparing apples and oranges. You could probably find allot of coaches thru the years that had better records than Butcher the first 4 years, but did they sustain that for 45 years. I was interested when I looked at the Career Coaching Leaders on John Harrell's website. Does anyone realistically have an opportunity to break Jack's all-time wins ?? When you look at those leaders, gotta consider how old some of the coaches are, how many more years they would realistically coach, and how many wins they would have to average over a certain period of time. I'm not sure how old Brian Hughes is, but found he and Bennett of New Castle may be worth a discussion. Even so, I believe they would have to coach into their late 60's or 70's and average quite a few wins to be considered. I believe Jack averaged 17.9 wins a season for 45 years.

#3 Lagote74

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:05 AM

The following was written by a man named Stacey Bowling. I found it to be an interesting so I thought I would post it so those that wish may read it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
At this time last year, everyone was talking about whether or not Coach Wagoner should be fired. Of course, right now no one is carrying torches and pitchforks, because Wagoner's team brought home a Sectional trophy. Still, as someone who just moved back to the area after a long absence and is blissfully unaware of whatever politics and gossip might have been at play last year, I'm in the pleasant position of being able to look purely at the on-court results.

I've heard people say Mike has been unfairly compared to Jack Butcher. Clearly Jack was one of a kind, and there will never be another like him. Some people say we need to be careful of chasing off coaches in pursuit of the next Butcher. Other people say, "Well, surely we could come closer to Butcher than THIS". Hey, here's an idea: Let's actually COMPARE Mike Wagoner and Jack Butcher, in terms of their on-court success. To make it apples-to-apples, I looked at each man's first four years. Looking much beyond that seems silly – Wagoner would have to coach until age 95 to have as many years as varsity coach as Jack had. Butcher truly is one of a kind, never to be matched, because virtually no one stays at ANY job for 45 straight years anymore. Onward to the numbers…

Jack Butcher took over a team that was 11-11 the previous year, and went 11-12 his first year. Mike Wagoner took over a team that had gone 4-18 the previous year, and went 12-9 his first year. Advantage: Wagoner

Butcher won 70.65% of his games over his first four years, going 65-27. Wagoner isn't done with his 4th year yet, but his overall record will be somewhere between 63-24 (if the Lions lose to Evansville Day on Saturday) for a winning percentage of 72.41%, and 67-23 (if the Lions win four more games and take home a state championship) for a winning percentage of 73.63%. Advantage: Wagoner

Butcher's teams lost in the Sectional each of his first three years, before winning a Sectional in his fourth year (subsequently losing the first round of the Regional). Wagoner's teams lost in the Sectional each of his first three years, before winning a Sectional in his fourth year (Regional results TBD). Advantage: Tie.

I also tried to look at records against individual teams in each coach's first four years, but that got messy, because too many consolidations have occurred since 1961. For example, Wagoner's teams play against North Daviess, Barr-Reeve, and Pike Central, where Butcher's teams played against Odon, Montgomery, Petersburg, Elnora, and Plainville. The key differences I found were 1) Butcher was 7-2 against Montgomery while Wagoner is 2-3 against Barr-Reeve (Advantage: Butcher), and 2) Butcher was 1-4 against Odon while Wagoner is 4-2 against North Daviess (Advantage: Wagoner).

Draw whatever conclusions you want, but as far as I can tell, both of these guys look like really promising young coaches, after their first four years.

Good stuff Right on!!!!!!!!!!!!

#4 Molina Mafia

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:15 AM

Nice job and good info, but is only good for the short term. No way we will be able to compare entire careers, obviously, because no way Wag is around 45 years at Loogootee !!! Wag is already 53 years old. ;) I would also be interested in strength of schedules as the years progressed. I would bet LHS played more 2A, 3A and 4A type schools during Butchers tenure and before this class system. So, even in the long term I think you are comparing apples and oranges. You could probably find allot of coaches thru the years that had better records than Butcher the first 4 years, but did they sustain that for 45 years. I was interested when I looked at the Career Coaching Leaders on John Harrell's website. Does anyone realistically have an opportunity to break Jack's all-time wins ?? When you look at those leaders, gotta consider how old some of the coaches are, how many more years they would realistically coach, and how many wins they would have to average over a certain period of time. I'm not sure how old Brian Hughes is, but found he and Bennett of New Castle may be worth a discussion. Even so, I believe they would have to coach into their late 60's or 70's and average quite a few wins to be considered. I believe Jack averaged 17.9 wins a season for 45 years.


I don't think he was saying that Wagoner is the next Jack Butcher. And I am not either. He was just merely having some fun with some numbers I think and did show that Wagoner has been pretty good in his first 4 years. It makes me wonder if people were unhappy with Jack's performance and wanted him gone after that 3rd season way back when like some did to Wagoner after last season. LOL As you said, we all know Mike Wagoner isn't going to coach for 45 years. This was just a fun read that I found informative. I needed something to read to pass the time until Saturday. GO LIONS!



#5 ACE08

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:44 PM

Fun or not...I don't know why anyone wants to even go there.

Edited by ACE08, 07 March 2012 - 09:20 PM.


#6 godogs97

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:09 PM

Maybe Im stating the obvious, but isnt it because of JB that expectations are set so high at LHS. So I doubt they were trying to run JB out of town after 4 years

#7 taps browning

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:22 AM

Nice job and good info, but is only good for the short term. No way we will be able to compare entire careers, obviously, because no way Wag is around 45 years at Loogootee !!! Wag is already 53 years old. ;) I would also be interested in strength of schedules as the years progressed. I would bet LHS played more 2A, 3A and 4A type schools during Butchers tenure and before this class system. So, even in the long term I think you are comparing apples and oranges. You could probably find allot of coaches thru the years that had better records than Butcher the first 4 years, but did they sustain that for 45 years. I was interested when I looked at the Career Coaching Leaders on John Harrell's website. Does anyone realistically have an opportunity to break Jack's all-time wins ?? When you look at those leaders, gotta consider how old some of the coaches are, how many more years they would realistically coach, and how many wins they would have to average over a certain period of time. I'm not sure how old Brian Hughes is, but found he and Bennett of New Castle may be worth a discussion. Even so, I believe they would have to coach into their late 60's or 70's and average quite a few wins to be considered. I believe Jack averaged 17.9 wins a season for 45 years.


As far as the level of competition in Jack's first 4 years vs today, going by memory I'd say it is much tougher now than then. It wasn't until later in Jack's tenure that Loogootee starting playing some tougher competition. There were also lots more local schools to play in that era as well. In other words instead of playing North Daviess the Lions would have played Odon, Plainville, and Elnora. I don't remember if they played Alfordsville or not, but they may have. I suspect Loogootee was larger than almost everybody they scheduled in those early years.

#8 BRbattleaxe

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:20 AM

The following was written by a man named Stacey Bowling. I found it to be an interesting read so I thought I would post it so those that wish may read it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
At this time last year, everyone was talking about whether or not Coach Wagoner should be fired. Of course, right now no one is carrying torches and pitchforks, because Wagoner's team brought home a Sectional trophy. Still, as someone who just moved back to the area after a long absence and is blissfully unaware of whatever politics and gossip might have been at play last year, I'm in the pleasant position of being able to look purely at the on-court results.

I've heard people say Mike has been unfairly compared to Jack Butcher. Clearly Jack was one of a kind, and there will never be another like him. Some people say we need to be careful of chasing off coaches in pursuit of the next Butcher. Other people say, "Well, surely we could come closer to Butcher than THIS". Hey, here's an idea: Let's actually COMPARE Mike Wagoner and Jack Butcher, in terms of their on-court success. To make it apples-to-apples, I looked at each man's first four years. Looking much beyond that seems silly – Wagoner would have to coach until age 95 to have as many years as varsity coach as Jack had. Butcher truly is one of a kind, never to be matched, because virtually no one stays at ANY job for 45 straight years anymore. Onward to the numbers…

Jack Butcher took over a team that was 11-11 the previous year, and went 11-12 his first year. Mike Wagoner took over a team that had gone 4-18 the previous year, and went 12-9 his first year. Advantage: Wagoner

Butcher won 70.65% of his games over his first four years, going 65-27. Wagoner isn't done with his 4th year yet, but his overall record will be somewhere between 63-24 (if the Lions lose to Evansville Day on Saturday) for a winning percentage of 72.41%, and 67-23 (if the Lions win four more games and take home a state championship) for a winning percentage of 73.63%. Advantage: Wagoner

Butcher's teams lost in the Sectional each of his first three years, before winning a Sectional in his fourth year (subsequently losing the first round of the Regional). Wagoner's teams lost in the Sectional each of his first three years, before winning a Sectional in his fourth year (Regional results TBD). Advantage: Tie.

I also tried to look at records against individual teams in each coach's first four years, but that got messy, because too many consolidations have occurred since 1961. For example, Wagoner's teams play against North Daviess, Barr-Reeve, and Pike Central, where Butcher's teams played against Odon, Montgomery, Petersburg, Elnora, and Plainville. The key differences I found were 1) Butcher was 7-2 against Montgomery while Wagoner is 2-3 against Barr-Reeve (Advantage: Butcher), and 2) Butcher was 1-4 against Odon while Wagoner is 4-2 against North Daviess (Advantage: Wagoner).

Draw whatever conclusions you want, but as far as I can tell, both of these guys look like really promising young coaches, after their first four years.


That was a great read! Thanks 12 in 12! Good stuff!
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#9 LHS05

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:00 AM

The point isn't that he's better or worse than Jack Butcher. The point is, the man deserves a lot of credit that he hasn't been given by many up to this point. I'm glad to see Mike win his first sectional, and I hope we aren't done watching this team play after Saturday's regional.

#10 Molina Mafia

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:34 AM

The point isn't that he's better or worse than Jack Butcher. The point is, the man deserves a lot of credit that he hasn't been given by many up to this point. I'm glad to see Mike win his first sectional, and I hope we aren't done watching this team play after Saturday's regional.


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I agree with you. I think that was the author's point. And a good one at that IMO.






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