John “Whack” Hyder remembers a dialog again in 1955 with The Baron, Kentucky’s legendary basketball coach Adolph Rupp, who was on the town to face the Yellow Jackets on the Georgia Tech campus.
“Coach Rupp requested me if I might meet and discuss with him after observe right here,” associated Hyder, referring to tiny Heisman Health club, the place the Jackets performed their dwelling video games (occupied the positioning outdoors of the North finish zone to Bobby Dodd Stadium). “I mentioned sure.”
“After I confirmed up, he was surrounded by his group. He requested me two questions.”
What’s your goal in basketball?
What do you anticipate to perform in a fitness center like this?
Hyder mentioned, “I advised him my first goal was for our children to steer an excellent ethical life. Subsequent I needed them to graduate. And third, when it got here time, I needed them to focus on basketball.”
“You possibly can’t try this,” replied Rupp. “Boys aren’t that method anymore.”
That very same season, Hyder, the person of folksy, homespun philosophy, pulled two gorgeous upsets of No. 1-ranked Kentucky, thus beginning Hyder’s status as a large killer. Hyder misplaced to the fabled Rupp and his Kentucky group 16 instances in his teaching profession. That was no shame. Hyder received 9 instances. That was an unheard-of feat.
““He made me really feel like a member of the household. He talked extra concerning the significance of an excellent training than he did about basketball. I felt like taking part in for Coach Hyder was going to be a constructive affect on my life. And it was.””
Roger Kaiser, Georgia Tech’s first All-American
Born July 10, 1912 in Lula, Ga., Hyder was among the finest all-around athletes in Georgia Tech historical past, lettering in basketball, baseball, cross nation and monitor. He additionally earned a freshman letter in soccer, the game by which he acquired his scholarship to Georgia Tech as a result of there have been no basketball scholarships in these days.
After graduating from Georgia Tech in 1937, he signed knowledgeable baseball contract and performed three years within the New York Yankees farm system.
After a stint within the U.S. Navy in World Struggle II, Hyder returned to Tech in 1946. He was employed as an assistant basketball coach by director of athletics William Alexander, the identical man who had supplied him a scholarship to Tech after watching him play basketball for Monroe A&M prep college.
Hyder was elevated from assistant to move coach previous to the 1951-52 season, and for 22 years, he guided the Yellow Jacket basketball fortunes. He retired on St. Valentine’s Day in 1973. He received video games and misplaced video games, together with the primary NCAA look in class historical past in 1960 and two journeys to the finals of the Nationwide Invitation Event.
Hyder was twice named SEC Coach of the Yr, and he’s a member of the Georgia Tech Corridor of Fame, the Atlanta Sports activities Corridor of Fame and the State of Georgia Sports activities Corridor of Fame.
Hyder compiled an general file of 292-271 (.519) and was Tech’s winningest basketball coach till surpassed in 1996 by Bobby Cremins. For the years by which his groups performed in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, which opened in 1956-57, Hyder’s file was 251-189 (.570).
However there was far more to Hyder than teaching video games.
“The factor about Coach Hyder,” recalled one among his famous person gamers, Wealthy Yunkus, “is that he handled all his gamers as human beings and never as animals being led by the nostril. He had a real concern for his gamers and he was proud. All however a kind of who performed for him the total 4 years graduated.
“Above all, he insisted upon an training and this he advised each recruit.”
Roger Kaiser, who performed for Hyder from 1958-61 and have become the primary All-American in Tech historical past, concurred.
“He was my father away from dwelling. I at all times revered him. I needed to offer him 100 % effort, 100 % of the time. He made me really feel I used to be needed and wanted. He obtained his message throughout to the gamers, and he did with out belittling anybody.”
Kaiser, who received 4 NAIA nationwide titles as a head coach, was a extremely recruited prepster from Dale, Ind., who was headed for Vanderbilt or Indiana when he met Hyder and altered his plans.
“Coach Hyder was heat, empathetic,” mentioned Kaiser. “He made me really feel like a member of the household. He talked extra concerning the significance of an excellent training than he did about basketball. I felt like taking part in for Coach Hyder was going to be a constructive affect on my life. And it was.”
Lengthy after he retired, Hyder remained lively in this system, coordinating the annual Alumni Recreation.
“I take into account Coach Hyder an in depth private pal and a person I really respect,” mentioned Cremins.
Upon Hyder’s retirement following the 1972-73 season, at Whack Hyder Evening given by mates and former gamers, he mentioned, “All of you recognize me as Whack. However my title is Johnny and tonight I really feel like my final title’s Picket.
“I’m not the best coach on the planet, not by any stretch of the creativeness, however I’m a really grateful and humble man tonight.”
Whack Hyder at Georgia Tech
— to ramblinwreck.com