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Class of 1976
Vic Binkley walked by himself to the head table at Illinois State University's union ballroom on Saturday night to be inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. But, Binkley said, he couldn't have posted the numbers that got him there - 477 wins, 12 20-win seasons and two third-place finishes at state - without help. "Just because I get credit for the wins doesn't mean I've done it alone," Binkley said. "It's really a credit to all the assistant coaches I've had over the years. "And, I've been blessed with some pretty good talent. Anyone who thinks you can get to the hall of fame without talent is just wrong. You've got to have the horses." Binkley began his coaching career at Mount Auburn in 1980. He coached there for six years, winning his first regional title in 1985-86. But it's at Warrensburg-Latham that Binkley became a hall of fame coach. In his 22 seasons, he's won 10 regional titles - including seven straight - and he's the school's all-time coaching wins leader with 385. "I'm just glad they've kept me around this long," said Binkley, a 1976 Warrensburg-Latham graduate. "Most school districts find a way to get rid of you before you're there this long." Binkley has taken Warrensburg to levels the basketball program had never previously reached. But Binkley said he didn't build the program from scratch. He credits previous coaches John Kiick and Phil Shelton for laying the foundation. "John Kiick got the tradition of basketball started, then Paul Shelton started coaching here in 1980 and he brought the ball press," Binkley said. "I came in after (Shelton) and everything was kind of set up for me. We've been running the ball press here for 28 years now. It's about time we started having some rewards. "And I'll tell you something else - if I left here tomorrow, Warrensburg-Latham would still win. I guarantee it." Binkley was named the District 15 Coach of the Year for the third time this season, and was also presented with that plaque at Saturday's ceremony. While Binkley walked to the head table alone, he brought a crowd of people to the banquet - his wife, sons, sister, assistant coaches, statistician and some friends. "This is a special event to me. I'm very fortunate," Binkley said. "It means a lot to everyone around me who's been a part of it." And at 49 years old, Binkley hopes to add plenty to what is already a hall of fame career. "I'm very fortunate to be in the hall of fame and still be coaching," Binkley said. "Hopefully we can keep it rolling." Binkley's career highlights n 477-297 career record in 28 seasons, 385-232 at Warrensburg-Latham in 22 seasons n 41 tournament championships n 12 20-win seasons n 11 regional titles, including seven in a row n 3 sectional titles n 2 third-place finishes at state
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