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Trojans’ coach resigns

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Cliff Hawkins has resigned as Center Grove’s boys basketball coach after 10 seasons.

The resignation was verified Friday afternoon by Center Grove athletics director Jon Zwitt.

“I admire the tremendous support and confidence that our community has shown our basketball program by allowing their sons to participate not only at the high school level but also throughout our entire feeder program,” Hawkins said in a statement released by the school.

“The time, effort and financial contribution given by our community members to our total program have been truly appreciated by me and all of our participants. The opportunity to work with so many high-quality coaches and athletes has been a rare blessing that many do not get.

“As an educator it has been rewarding and extremely satisfying to see the young men and future head coaches mature as individuals,” he continued. “I wish all the future Trojan coaches and players the very best success as I continue to follow their careers.”

Hawkins compiled a 126-94 record (.573) with the Trojans, the highlights of his tenure being two Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference titles (2007 and 2010) and a Class 4A sectional championship in 2011.

Earlier in the 2010-11 season Hawkins’ squad, led by three future Division I players in Andrew Smeathers, Jonny Marlin and Joe Reed, won the prestigious Hall of Fame Classic by defeating eventual state champions Washington (3A) and Bloomington South (4A).

“Cliff Hawkins has been an inspiration during the last decade of Center Grove boys basketball. His energies, his dedication and his overall belief in his players were beyond commendable,” Zwitt said in the statement.

“Cliff worked tirelessly to cultivate talent but more importantly helped build a mindset for skill levels and expectations. I thank Cliff for providing some very memorable moments, for helping to brighten the path for others to follow and, above all, for making us proud.”

Hawkins, whose 453 career wins ranks him 17th among current Indiana coaches, will remain at Center Grove as a social studies teacher.

The search for his successor will begin immediately.

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