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Prep Hoops: Hall Calls

Posted on 12/13/2016, 2:41 PM

Randy Smithpeters, already one of Harrisburg High School"s greater basketball coaches, will now be recognized as one of Illinois" best high school basketball coaches.

And, he"ll have some company along the way.

On Monday, Smithpeters, along with Murphysboro"s Daryl Murphy, Nashville"s Wayne Harre and Carlyle"s Andy Palmer were all named as inductees that will be part of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Ceremony, which will take place in Springfield in April.

Following the win over Meridian Saturday at Davenport Gymnasium, Smithpeters now has 447 career wins at Harrisburg.

Smithpeters began his career at Harrisburg in the 1993-94 season, that saw the Bulldogs go 23-6 and win a regional title.

Since then, Smithpeters has added 11 regional championship plaques, six sectional championships and two super-sectional wins. Smithpeters has also led Harrisburg to five Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Ohio Division titles.

Smithpeters and the Bulldogs were 33-1 in the 2012-13 season that saw them win the school"s first IHSA Class 2A State Championship.

Smithpeters is now 447-241 in 24 years as head coach at Harrisburg.

When he was getting his start on the sidelines, Smithpeters admitted his idols were Bob Dallas, Curt Reed and the guy who got Smithpeters started in coaching David Lee, while Smithpeters was at Hamilton County. To be in the same conversation as those guys, Smithpeters claims, "takes my breath away."

"I"m very honored and very touched," Smithpeters said Monday evening. I know the coaches going in and the type of coaches that have gone into the Hall of Fame before me and it"s a great honor to be in that kind of company."

Smithpeters also said when first got into coaching, he didn"t do so with the intentions of one day getting the call from the hall of fame.

"For me, personally, that was never the end goal. I don"t even keep track of wins and losses, other than what is pertinent to what"s going on right now. I appreciate the IBCA, they are a great organization and do a lot to promote high school basketball in Illinois.

"I"m also thrilled to be going in with some of the guys locally I"m going in with. All of their careers have been superb and knowing that Joe (Hosman, at Massac County) has already gotten in, that"s three of the six coaches in our conference in the Hall of Fame. I think that says a lot about our conference, the history and tradition."

Murphy has guided Murphysboro for the last 20 years and during this time he has posted the top winning percentage in school history and amount of wins. Murphy has coached the Red Devils to nine Southern Illinois River-to-River titles, five regional championships, two sectional titles and one Super-Sectional championship. In 2011, Murphy guided MHS to a No. 1 Associated Press Final Season Ranking and IHSA Class 2A State Runner-up with a team compiling a record of 35-1.

Prior to coming to Murphysboro, Murphy started coaching basketball as an assistant coach under Jim Drew at Springfield Calvary in Springfield. His first head coaching stint came at Century High School for two years (1994-96) before being hired at Murphysboro High School.

Michael Dann covers prep and college sports for the Harrisburg Daily Register and Eldorado Daily Journal. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.