Ted Server of Franklin earned many titles during his athletic and professional careers — star athlete, state champion, all-star, coach, hall-of-famer, public servant. But to the many people who knew him, the title that fits him best is gentleman.
Server died Feb. 22 at the age of 83 following a long illness. He will be missed not just by residents of Franklin or even Johnson County but by sports colleagues across the country.
Franklin boys track and field coach Mike Hall had known Server since the 1960s. After the longtime coach and athletics administrator died, Hall said: “I talked to a couple of other people about him, and I think everyone agreed he was the ultimate classy person. … He never had a bad word to say about anyone.”
Jon McGlocklin, a former NBA star who played basketball for Server in the late 1950s and early 1960s, echoed the sentiment: “He was a kind man, a gentle man, and yet a man of authority. He had that really excellent balance of both being strong and yet soft. I never had a negative issue at all with Ted. He was influential on my life.”
Server was a 1950 graduate of Madison High School in Madison, where he was a member of the state basketball champion Cubs and an Indiana All-Star. He went on to Purdue University, where he played basketball. He was a basketball coach first in North Vernon and then in Franklin from 1959 to 1967, winning sectional titles in 1962 and 1964. He served as the athletics director at Franklin Community High School for 31 years until his retirement in 1994.
In 1984 he was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
He also was active in the community and served for several years on the Franklin Park and Recreation Board. Upon his retirement from the board, Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness declared March 22, 2012, “Ted Server Day.”
But for all his accolades and prominence, Server remained friendly and open. People meeting him for the first time wouldn’t know of his accomplishments. He was just Ted and he was, indeed, glad to meet you.
Ted Server defined class.
Ted Server was an accomplished athlete, coach and public servant.
For all his professional accomplishments, Server will be remembered best as a gentleman.