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Michigan City's Falls Among Five to Receive Awards at IBCA Clinic


School administrators Chad Bolser of Richmond, Robert Falls of Michigan City, Phil Ford of Jay County, Geoff Penrod of Columbia City and Mike Whitten of Boonville will be will be recognized with special awards at the 2014 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association annual Clinic later this month.

The five men each will receive recognition as Administrators of the Year from the IBCA. All will be presented plaques during a ceremony on April 25 during the IBCA annual spring clinic at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis.

These administrators are being honored for their support of programs in their schools -- Bolser, Falls and Penrod as athletic directors and Ford and Whitten as principals. Falls and Penrod are honorees from District 1. Bolser and Ford are being cited from District 2. Whitten is the lone recipient from District 3.

Bolser is in his sixth year as athletic director at Richmond after 10 seasons as boys basketball coach for the Red Devils. During his tenure as AD, Bolser has developed and expanded the Bob Wettig Memorial Tournament from a one-day, four-team event to a three-day, 16-team event. He also has helped bring postseason basketball back to the Tiernan Center.

Falls has impacted the lives of countless students as a teacher, coach and administrator at Michigan City. He has been the district Athletic Director the past nine years after previously serving as a coach for 20 years at Michigan City Elston and as varsity boys basketball coach at Michigan City for six seasons. He will retire later this year after 40 years as an educator.

Ford is in his sixth year as principal at Jay County and a long-time advocate of the importance of all extra- and co-curricular activities to the successful development of high school students. Ford is a past member of the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and a current member of Indiana Association of School Principals. He has served on the IHSAA Board of Directors since 2006 and is currently the President of the Board.

Penrod is in his 29th year as athletic director at Columbia City. He also has been a member of the IHSAA Board of Directors since 2003 and is the group's current president. He has been a member of IIAAA since 1985 was a District Athletic Director of the Year in 2003 and 2004 and State Athletic Director of the Year in 2004.

Whitten is in his 11th year as principal of Boonville High School. He previously was a teacher and coach at Pike Central before serving at Boonville Middle School and Tecumseh Junior/Senior High School in administration. He is completing his third term on the IHSAA Board of Directors, where he has served as president and also as chairman of the executive committee.

More on Robert "Bear" Falls

Robert “Bear” Falls has impacted the lives of countless students and student athletes in Northwest Indiana, as an educator, coach and athletic director.

He began his career as a teacher of Physical Education, Health, and Driver’s Education at Elston High School in Michigan City. During his 20 years at Elston, he was an assistant coach at the freshman, JV and Varsity levels for both football and basketball.

Falls was named Head Basketball Coach for Michigan City High School in 1995, a post he held until 2001. Under his leadership, the Wolves went 80-40 and never had a losing season. He guided City to a Duneland Conference championship in 1997-98 and three second-place finishes.

This June, Falls will retire as Athletic Director for the Michigan City Area Schools, a post he held since 2005.

Over his 40-year career, he has been active in Indiana athletics, most recently serving on the Indiana High School Athletic Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee (2007-2009). A strong supporter of youth sports, he has coached and officiated community leagues and tournaments for both softball and basketball.

Falls holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Illinois State University and a Master’s in Education from Indiana University-Northwest.

As a high school athlete at Elston, he was named to the all-state football team. At Illinois State, he was the first player in school history to play both offensive and defensive halfback, breaking school records in pass receiving.


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