Milestone victories aren’t new to Stan Benge.
Even so, Benge couldn’t help but savor the moment after the Roncalli girls basketball team prevailed 54-27 Nov. 16 at Crispus Attucks.
It was Benge’s 600th career win.
Benge, who turns 64 Nov. 30, is one of four coaches in Indiana girls basketball history to achieve that number. He previously led Ben Davis to four Class 4A state championships and was 600-154 entering Roncalli’s home game with Ritter on Wednesday night.
“It is neat. I never thought I would hit 600 wins,” Benge said. “More than anything, you get to look back and see how quickly things go. It’s looking back at all the good players and good times.”
Benge, who took over the Rebels’ program before the start of the 2013-14 season, has had his share of both.
In addition to winning state titles at his alma mater on Indianapolis’ westside, he’s coached both of Ben Davis’ Indiana Miss Basketballs (Shyra Ely in 2001 and Bria Goss in 2011) as well as numerous Indiana All-Stars.
This includes former Roncalli standout Lindsay Corsaro, the 2016 Miss Basketball runner-up who is now a sophomore in the UCLA women’s basketball program.
Benge’s basketball coaching career came full circle when he came from Ben Davis to Roncalli. His first job was as a boys basketball assistant with the Rebels during the 1976-77 and 1977-78 seasons.
He then returned to Ben Davis and basically built the girls basketball program from scratch.
In his 26 seasons (1985-2011), the Giants picked up 21 sectional titles, 11 regionals and five semistates. Benge led Ben Davis to the one-class state final in 1992 at Market Square Arena, but his squad lost to defending champion Bedford North Lawrence in the morning semifinal.
His 2008-09 and 2009-10 Ben Davis teams combined for a record of 58-0.
Benge, who enjoys golf in his spare time and rides his bicycle most days during the week, isn’t plotting an exit strategy from coaching basketball anytime soon. He continues to enjoy helping players improve while monitoring the success former players are having on and off the court.
“One day I just figure I’ll be in practice one day saying, ‘Man, I wish I was somewhere else,’” he said. “The next thing I want is to get Roncalli to the level where we were at Ben Davis in terms of that kind of culture where they’re maximizing their abilities.
“We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer.”
It could be a while before another coach follows Benge into the 600-win club. Evansville Memorial’s Bruce Dockery is the next-winningest active coach with 472 victories.
The winningest coaches in the history of Indiana girls high school basketball (through Nov. 21):
Rodney Fisher;Gary West;659*
Wayne Krieger;Fort Wayne Canterbury;588
Jan Conner;Lafayette Jeff;485
Bruce Dockery;Evansville Memorial;472*
Tom May;Crown Point;442