The well-documented Barr-Reeve feeder system in the lower grades has continually brought elite level talent onto Kavanaugh Kourt year-after-year. Hughes isn’t sure there is just some special formula that is key to the Vikings’ success over the past two-plus decades. Hughes did say, he’s always interested to see the number of kids in an elementary school game when there are near 20 kids and to see what number there are by the time their senior year comes around.
“A lot of people understand that we do more than just the basketball season, but I’m not sure they truly understand how much time these kids put in, especially in June and into the fall with the preparation to get ready for the season,” Hughes said.
With his third win next season, Hughes will reach 500 wins for his career. Nobody, especially Hughes could have envisioned the career he has had. The players’ faces change from year to year, but he’s there game after game, preaching his message to the teenage boys in the black and white jerseys. The love for the game of basketball is what brought him into coaching in the first place and it is what keeps him working every day now.
“When I graduated from college, my first job was as an assistant manager at Kay Jewelers up in Indianapolis,” Hughes said. “I was selling rings, watches and all that for about six months and was very unhappy and knew this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I went back to school to get my teaching degree and when I got my head coaching job at the age of 25 without being an assistant prior. I was a seventh grade coach one year and then the next year I got a job at a nearby school. I was just tickled to be in an occupation that I loved. It’s just always been my passion and as long as your healthy, I can’t see myself doing anything else.”