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.
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.