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Clipp, longtime Corydon teacher and coach, retires

One coach in Harrison County guided three separate athletic programs to at least an individual berth in a regional competition last season.
By leading the Corydon Central girls’ and boys’ golf teams, along with an individual wrestler, Panthers coach Richard Clipp made the trip to regional each time as head coach.
Two weeks ago, after 37 years of teaching at Corydon Central High School, Clipp retired.
‘I gave it some thought for more than a month, maybe six weeks,’ Clipp said in a phone interview last week. ‘I really hated to do it, but my wife recently retired and I figured, why not? Another reason was the daily grind. This gives me more time to spend with my family that lives in the area.’
In 1975, Clipp started his teaching career as a freshman English teacher. Throughout the years, he gradually moved to instruct senior English courses and also taught driver’s education.
Coaching, however, may not stop.
Clipp plans on applying for the head wrestling coach job, but, this time around, will do so as a lay coach. For 34 years, Corydon Central wrestling has known one head coach: Clipp. Starting the program from the ground up, it has grown to not only field a high school program, but also junior high. Wrestling also hosts the annual Old Capitol Invitational wrestling meet in the winter, along with a camp for youth wrestlers.
‘I might get to coach,’ Clipp said. ‘I feel pretty good about my chances to continue with wrestling. With me, something always happens or doesn’t go as planned. I’ll apply and see what happens.’
The wrestling team returns top individual Bailey LaHue (placed fifth in state at 113 pounds), whom Clipp spoke with recently. After undergoing surgery last season, LaHue is back into training.
‘He’s grown three or four inches, and there’s no doubt he’ll jump up a few weight classes,’ Clipp said of LaHue. ‘There are a lot of kids returning to the program, and they had a strong eighth-grade group.’
‘Whether I am the coach next year or not, there’s still going to do double legs and run half nelsons,’ he said.
Early in his career, Clipp spent 10 years on the football coaching staff. He also dabbled as the baseball coach for a handful of years.
The girls’ golf program started with Corydon Central current boys’ tennis and girls’ basketball coach Michael Uhl alongside Clipp 10 years ago. For the last nine, Clipp has served as head coach.
While girls’ golf took up time in the spring and wrestling in the winter, Clipp also coached boys’ golf in the spring. Basically, between the start of school to the end, Clipp never slowed down coaching. He recalls a two-year period he didn’t coach a spring sport. Following that lapse, Uhl, who was athletic director then, approached him about being the boys’ golf coach, and he was back into it.
Uhl, by chance, was part of Clipp closing his retirement paperwork.
‘I was sitting there in the office, getting ready to sign the (retirement) paper and, just as I got the pen cap off, my phone rang. It was Mike Uhl. He asked what I was doing, and I said, ‘Believe it or not, I’m retiring today’.’
Uhl went ahead and asked Clipp about helping run concessions this coming season, but the newly retired didn’t accept just yet.
Through the years, both have coached the other’s children.
As for retirement, Clipp is still in summer mode.
‘I don’t know what to expect,’ he said. ‘I don’t expect life to change that much. I’ll probably sit and watch a little more ESPN and have a sandwich here and there. I’m not a world traveler, so I won’t do that. I’ll just play it by ear.’
Corydon Central is the only school where Clipp has taught. He spoke to principal Jennie Capelle and South Harrison Community School Corp. Superintendent Dr. Neyland Clark about possible positions within the cooporation, but couldn’t find a fit, so Clipp opted for retirment.