Thursday, October 26, 2006

R.I.P Coach Gordon K. Ackerman

My High School basketball coach passed away on Sunday, October 22. I have many memories of Coach Ackerman, some good, some bad, most involved running lines until I puked. He liked to make us run.

Born May 20, 1924, in Corvalis, Oregon, Mr. Ackerman served in the United States Navy during World War II and was later a math teacher and coach of the varsity basketball team at Artesia High School until his retirement in 1986.

Source: The Friday Flyer, October 27, 2006 - Article: In Memoriam: Gordon K. Ackerman

My best memory of Coach Ackerman came from when I was an underclassman playing on the J.V. squad. We would scrimmage against the varsity team at the end of our early morning practice sessions. Coach Ackerman would tell his team that for every shot I made, they would run an extra set of lines. I routinely made 15 or more shots. The varsity squad ran and ran and ran. Coach Ackerman would admonish his team after each basket to play like men. My brother-in-law, who was dating my little sister at the time, provided special motivation. I loved to see him run.

At the end of a weekend practice near the end of the season, Coach Ackerman pulled me aside and told me I was the best pure shooter he had ever coached. A year later he said the same thing at our awards dinner. He was being nice - I was a damn good shot, but the rest of my game was just average.

R.I.P Coach



Anonymous said...

He was a great coach and leader who had a real positive impact on a lot of young players lives over many years both on and off the basketball court.

Gave me my first coaching job. Can still remember all the advice and assistance he provided me to become a successful coach and teacher.

He will always have a special place in my heart.

Anonymous said...

They should name the gym or court after this outstanding educator and coach!

He did it "the right way" and for over 27 years.

Loved the school, students, and community.

The gym was always his home, away from home.

Lets not forget him, and do something special for him at Artesia HS.

Anonymous said...

I hope others will take the time to write or call and request that the gym be named after Coach Ackerman, I think this is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

I will miss this truely outstanding coach! Naming the gym after him would be great!

billbcec said...

A man of great integrity, I asked him how I can get a B on my Algebra 2 class, he joked "ace your final", well I cheated(scantron test, no work required)I had the answers because he used the same final for years.
Mr. Ackerman knew I cheated but when I got my report card I had a B- for his class.