Archive for September 20, 2016




It is not often that local football fans have the opportunity to hear Lou Holtz speak. It is even rarer that they can hear him in person for just $20. But thanks to local financial advisor Brian Hayes, Holtz will speak at the 2016 Indianapolis Financial Forum at the Old National Centre on Sept. 22.

“We wanted to keep the price down and make it worthwhile for everyone to come to Indianapolis,” said Brian Hayes, president of the Hayes Advisory Group in Kokomo, which is hosting the forum. “The $20 general admission ticket is affordable and is also tax deductible. We will also have a VIP section for $150, but the general admission tickets are a great way to hear Coach Holtz. And the Old National Centre is a great venue.”

More importantly, the event is a fundraiser for the Indiana Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of American.

“I have a lot of friends and family members who are afflicted with Crohn’s or colitis,” said Hayes. “It is hard to deal with and there is no cure. There needs to be a lot of money raised to find a cure and find relief from these diseases. It is an affliction that doesn’t get much press, but it affects a lot of people.”

Hayes explained that the event is a mix of financial advising with the folksy story-telling of Holtz.

“I had the chance to meet Coach Holtz a few months back and he shared his life and coaching philosophies with me,” said Hayes. “Those philosophies were basically the same thing I use. I told him what I wanted to do, and when I told him it was for charity, he agreed to come and do this.”

Hayes said Holtz will speak for approximately one hour and cover topics from not only his own financial success, but also his championship football career. The hall of fame coach’s presentation is titled, “The X’s and O’s for Financial Success.” Holtz, who most remember as a Notre Dame coach, is the only coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to bowl games and the only coach to guide four different programs to the final top 20 rankings. Holtz’s humor and humility endear him to audiences as he helps them learn to assess their strengths, work as a team and embrace the values that translate into a successful financial game plan.

“He is a wonderful speaker,” said Hayes. “He will talk about overcoming challenges, not only in his life, but his player’s lives. Lou has a wonderful way of sharing those financial stories and tying it to life and weaving in football stories. It is the best of both worlds.”

The Indianapolis Financial Forum will be rooted in current market conditions and underlying economic fundamentals by some of the top economists.

“I have wanted to do something like this for a long time,” said Hayes. “It is much needed because there is so much uncertainty in the financial arena right now. People are concerned with it being a presidential election year. Markets are at an all-time high and people fear a correction will happen soon – just a lot of confusion out there. So, this is needed. This is going to be a win-win-win in our opinion – you can hear some of the brightest minds in the financial world, you can hear Coach Holtz speak and it is for charity.

“With so many different financial variables and world economic news, people are challenged with reliable sources of information. This event is intended to address the needs of retirees and pre-retirees with an empowering event,” said Hayes. “Again, Coach Holtz is a legend in the State of Indiana, and this is a rare opportunity to hear him speak locally in person. “

The doors for the Indianapolis Financial Forum with Lou Holtz open at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 22. The event is expected to be a sellout. For more information or to register, visit


Ryan Berryman coached the Indiana All-Stars in 2011. (SJ Photo/William Gibson)

Ryan Berryman coached the Indiana All-Stars in 2011. (SJ Photo/William Gibson)


RUSSIAVILLE, Ind. – As it turns out, Western High School Athletic Director Josh Larsh did not have to look far to find his next head baseball coach – the candidate was already in the corporation. On Sept. 16, Larsh announced the hiring of middle school teacher and former Panthers Athletic Director Ryan Berryman, who previously coach at Northwestern.

Berryman becomes just the third Western head baseball coach since 1979.

“This morning the Western Board of Trustees approved Ryan Berryman to be the next varsity baseball Coach of the Western Panthers,” Larsh said in a statement. “Ryan currently teaches eighty grade social studies at Western Middle School and is the seventh grade boys basketball coach.”

Berryman, a 1994 graduate of Western, served as its athletic director from 2011-2013. Prior to that, he was the head baseball coach at Northwestern, where he compiled a 226-83 record in 11 seasons. In 2005, Berryman coached a Brandon Beachy led squad to a 19-13 record and the IHSAA Class 2A state championship game, which they lost to North Posey 11-6.

The 1998 Northern Kentucky University graduate led the Purple Tigers to Mid-Indiana Conference titles in 2001 and 2008 and sectional crowns in 2001 (2A), 2002 (3A), 2005 (2A) and 2007 (2A). His 2001 sectional crown ended an eight-year draught for the program – he won four of the Tigers nine overall sectional titles (others are in 1968, 1984, 1989, 1992 and 2014). He also led Northwestern to its only two regional championships in 2005 and 2007.

Berryman was also the head coach of the 2011 Indiana North All-Star Team that played in Fort Wayne at Parkview Field.

“In selecting the next baseball coach, Coach Berryman was the obvious choice as he is the most qualified for the position, understanding the structure of the baseball program that has been successfully built by Coach Calloway and Coach Brown,” Larsh said. “We look forward to Coach Berryman taking the helm and continuing the Panther tradition of excellence.”

Berryman takes over a program that has been led by just two coaches in the last four decades – Indiana Baseball and Howard County Sports Hall of Famer Ty Calloway and Quinton Brown. Calloway led the squad for 36 seasons and the 2012 Class 3A state title while retiring in 2013 with more than 600 victories. Brown, who abruptly resigned last month with no reason given, was at the helm for three seasons, which ended with a loss in the 3A state championship game last June.

“We look forward to Coach Berryman continuing the baseball tradition at Western High School and building on the success of Coach Calloway and Coach Brown,” said Larsh. “As a former Panther, Coach Berryman has contributed to Western’s Baseball success as a player and athletic director.”

Berryman was in class and unavailable for comment. See next week’s edition of the Sports Journal for more on this story.




KOKOMO, Ind. – Four years ago, a trio of high school volleyball standouts went out on a limb and joined a rookie college coach taking over a fledgling program. Little did they know that IU Kokomo, which was 12-41 in its first two collegiate seasons, would blossom into the envy of the conference. Kaleigh Ensley, Keeana Walton and Kaley Harness – along with head coach Heather Hayes – arrived in Kokomo with little fanfare, but the class of 2017 has helped turn the Cougars volleyball program from a new program without a permanent home into the premier squad in the River States Conference.

“Every year we seem to get a little better,” said Ensley, a defensive specialist. “We are looking to keep building and take it to the next level. We want to take it a step further. It is really exciting to be what has been the last four years.”

In their first three seasons, the trio has helped build the squad into a program few thought would see such immediate success. They entered their senior campaign with a record of 87-24 (.783 win percentage) and have made improvements each year – going from the conference tournament quarterfinals to the Final Four to league champions last season.

“We have a tradition now,” said Walton. “We are now getting more people to want to come play for us and graduate in four years.”

With one NAIA National Tournament berth under its belt, the seniors know the next step is to win an NAIA tourney match and advance out of the first round.

“We want to continue to do better and take it to the next level; we want to win that first NAIA match this year,” said Ensley, a Fort Wayne Snider graduate. “We want to put years up on the (conference championship) banner. Our goal is to win conference and make it to Iowa for the national tournament – we want to get to the second round this year.”

“We are so versatile. We continue to get what we need when we lose seniors – we keep reloading our team,” added Walton. “To start from the bottom (in 2013) and work our butts off to get to the top of the conference…it just feels good.”

A year ago, as the Cougars were winning regular season and tournament conference championships. Ensley led the team with 636 digs, which ranked No. 34 in NAIA. Walton was fourth with 218 kills and has improved her statistics each season. Harness, a Southwood graduate, missed last season with an injury. For Walton, her success has surprised many considering she did not start playing volleyball until her junior year at Maconaquah High School. As Hayes said, she is still literally learning the game.

“The first three years, I tried to get better each year and use it as a stepping-stone,” said Walton. “Last year, I broke out of my shell and really got the hang of volleyball. Now, I hope this is my best year.”

Looking back, both Walton and Ensley are surprised on how fast the program became successful.

“I didn’t think we would be as far as we are; I thought it would take a lot more time than it has,” said Walton. “We have grown so much that it is pretty amazing. But we put a lot of work into it.”

“When I committed to come here, I had no idea we would be at this level in just a couple of years,” said Ensley. “It has really grown quickly and it is fun to be a part of.”

Free admission with donation

The Cougars are 5-2 this year with one loss coming days after the tornado and the other to a Top 25 squad. The first home match of the season is Sept. 14 against Purdue University Northwest at 7 p.m. in the Cougar Gym.

For the home opener, the Cougars athletic program has teamed with IUK’s Enactus in an effort to restock the school’s food pantry after many items were donated to the Red Cross after the tornadoes struck on Aug. 24.

“We are asking for fan assistance in restocking the pantry to help our students affected by the storm,” said women’s basketball head coach Whitney Farris. “Free admission will be granted to fans bringing an item from the list below to the ticket table in our lobby prior to the Cougar volleyball game.”

Items requested include: deodorant, shampoo (smaller bottles are preferred), toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap (individual bars or smaller bottles preferred), toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, laundry detergent (smaller bottles or small pouches of pods), Clorox wipes, feminine hygiene products (all varieties), diapers (for our students with families), notepads, pens, pencils and folders.