Winningest high school football coach in Indiana honored in Sheridan; ‘I look back on the decades I’ve coached with pride’

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SHERIDAN — Death, taxes and Sheridan High School football teams coached by Bud Wright, you can count on it just as surely as football is played under the lights on Friday nights. 

Larry “Bud” Wright has been coaching the Sheridan Blackhawks for 55 years. He’s been coaching so long, the towns museum has built a display in his honor. 

But like Coach Wright’s decades long career, the display isn’t quite finished.

Coach Wright is something of an urban legend in rural Hamilton County. And as the winningest head coach in Indiana high school football history, the legends are justified. 

“Coach Wright’s definitely an icon here. A lot of people know him as Legend Larry,” one of his former players said. “No question… he’s a legend here.”

In the town of Sheridan, history is preserved, even if that history is still being written today. 

“Our goal here is to commemorate the history of this community,” Sheridan Historical Society President Ron Stone said. “Nine state championships… and it’d be wonderful if he could get 10.”

You’ll find trains, Civil War flags, coin operated ponies, antique motor cars and one G.O.A.T. inside the Sheridan Historical Society Museum along South Main Street. 

Coach Bud Wright, the Greatest Of All Time, as some call him, has been coaching in Sheridan for 56 years. 

“We wanted to honor him while he was still active,” Stone said. “We’re hoping with Coach Wrights exhibit that it’s gonna draw a lot of ex-football players here. We want them to see the museum. We just didn’t want to wait too long to honor him.”

The museums exhibit, much like coach’s career… is still under construction. 

Gathering hundreds of pictures, flyers, trophies and memorabilia items in a creatively arranged nook, but the historical society says their exhibit needs help, from you. 

“Basically everything we have here is from the community,” Stone said. “We can tell you about all of them as far as where they came from, who it represents and so on. It makes it that much more special when the community gets involved.”

Most of that community has either been or is currently coached by Coach Wright who’s eyes remain on the prize 56 years after his coaching debut. 

“Our goal is to win the state every year,” Sheridan High School Head Football Coach Larry “Bud” Wright said. “I still love the game and I just really enjoy coaching the game. I’m getting old! That’s about all you can say about it.”

At 80-years-young, Wright says the hundreds of student athletes he’s coached and the numerous titles they’ve chased throughout the years together, has helped keep him, young. 

“I think that’s why I’ve stayed young. Lot of people don’t think, they don’t believe I’m 80 but I think just being around young students and such and players has kept me young all these years,” Wright said. “Coaching makes getting out of bed every day that much easier.”

With no plans to retire immediately, Coach Wright says the honor of being immortalized in the Sheridan Historical Society Museum is all his. 

“It means a lot to me certainly, our eyes are focused on Friday and the season ahead still,” Wright said. “But when I retire, and such, then I’ll look back and think about that even more.”

The Sheridan Historical Society Museum is currently accepting donations if you have any pictures of Coach Wright or memorabilia, they’d love to hear from you. 

The museum is free. They are open regularly on Tuesday and Friday afternoons from 1 – 4 p.m.

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