Marvin Wood

July 18, 2013

Marvin Wood coached Milan in 1954. If you ask most of his players, they will tell you it was his style of coaching that allowed them to win the state. He didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, but he fine tuned the one that was already in place. He wanted to play man-to-man defense, but he found the Indians weren’t very good at it so he asked a coach in the system to teach him the zone. He did not try to fool the players into believing it was his idea. He worked it out so the right people got credit. He moved Bob Engle to forward in 1954 to replace Gene White who moved to center to replace a graduated senior. He did so by asking Bob if he would change, and he let Bob make he decision. He was not a demonstrative man, so he didn’t try to be one. He got things done with a soft voice and a great sense of diplomacy. When asked why he stalled in the final game, he answered “I didn’t know what to do, and it took that long to make up my mind.” His ideas on preparing a team for play were said to be years ahead of the game, and his fundamentals first approach served the Indians well. The previous coach had a good foundation, and Marvin Wood knew what it took to go to the next level. Many times I have heard it said that Milan did not have the best players, but what they had was by far the best team and they give Marvin Wood the credit for this. What Milan didn’t do for history, the movie “Hoosiers” did.

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