Gianfagna leaves CC, heads to FC
With an impeccable post-season record and a history of producing teams that ran fine-tuned, well-disciplined offenses, it was only a matter of time before Corydon Central boys varsity basketball coach Randy Gianfagna moved on.
The move, however, won’t be all that far away.
With squads that won two regional championships, four sectional titles and nearly 130 games in nine seasons, Gianfagna will be taking his services to Floyd Central High School as the new coach of the Highlanders.
Gianfagna, a 1993 graduate of Indiana University and Richmond High School (1988), will teach mathematics and serve as boys’ varsity basketball coach.
Gianfagna was Mid-Southern Conference Coach-of-the-Year in 2001 and 2002. His teams went 128-81 (.612), including a mark of 17-9 (.653) in the post-season. Only a mark of 100-39 (.719) with a regional and three sectional titles in six seasons (1960-1965) by Ralph Cato ranks better in Corydon’s program.
Under Gianfagna, the Panthers went 9-12, 13-9 and then 15-7 in his first three years.
In the fourth season, Corydon Central won 17 games, lost just seven, and picked up the first of four straight sectional championships in 2001. The club also defeated Greensburg in overtime for the program’s first regional championship since the 1960-61 season.
Corydon was 17-7 in 2002, and 20-7 in 2003 when it won another regional championship. The final sectional crown came the following year, which finished out at 17-8.
Of the four sectional championship seasons, Corydon lost to the eventual Class 3A state champion twice (Mater Dei in 2004; Bishop Chatard in 2003).
Outside of the championships, Gianfagna said his best memories from Corydon will be how the community accepted he and his wife, Heather, and their two children, Sophia, 5, and Nathan, 2.
‘They took a couple of outsiders from Richmond in and really treated us like family. I don’t care much about wins or losses. It’s when the kids come back to games to support our teams. That means more to you than anything else to see the kids in the stands,’ Gianfagna said. ‘My wife and I really enjoyed the past nine years we’ve had at Corydon.’
The Highlanders have won 14 sectional championships in their history, but none since the 1989 season, which ended with the club in the single-class state final and its star player, Pat Graham, as Mr. Basketball.
A once-storied Hoosier Hills Conference program in Southern Indiana, Floyd has spiraled downward for the past decade.
In fact, since 1994 the Highlanders have won only four sectional games and have just five winning seasons, the best being a 13-8 effort in 1993-94 under legendary coach Joe Hinton, who was fired after the 1998 campaign. One of Hinton’s former players, Larry Schellenberg, filled the role for four years, but the best his teams could mustard were a pair of 11-10 seasons. The most recent skipper, Kirk Hamsley, stepped down in March after chalking up a record of 26-58 in four tries, with the highlight being a record of 12-11 in 2004, when the Highlanders fell to New Albany in a Class 4A sectional final.
When asked how he hoped to turn the Highlanders around, Gianfagna said he’ll stick with a familiar recipe.
‘We just focused on the little things, and when you do that, the big things take care of themselves. We’re going to be fundamental, play hard, and little things like that. They sound like clich’s, but if you don’t do those things, you don’t win,’ Gianfagna said. ‘I’m not real elaborate guy. I like to keep things simple.’
‘Coach Gianfagna was selected from a pool of outstanding candidates and we are confident that he will do an outstanding job, both in the classroom and on the basketball floor. He brings a wealth of knowledge and we are very confident he will restore Floyd Central High School to a prestigious basketball program,’ Dr. Tony Bennett, Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Operations, said.
Corydon Athletic Director Michael Uhl said the incoming coach will have big shoes to fill: ‘We are not only losing a very good basketball coach, but an exceptional math teacher as well. He was very professional both in and out of the classroom. You always ask yourself as a parent whether or not you would like this person to teach your own children. I would not have had to think twice about that answer. He was an asset to our school and community.’