As the Carmel Community grew in the 1950s and 1960s, a young coach and teacher in the school district started his career at Carmel High School. He would leave a lasting mark at the school with a 36 year coaching career that endures to today. Don Huffer passed away last week at the age of 90. His legacy included several historical benchmarks for the Carmel High School Athletic Department.
In his 36 years at Carmel High School (1957-1993), Coach Huffer did whatever was needed at the school as it transitioned from a rural school to a growing suburban powerhouse. Most alumni remember him as their driver’s education teacher during the summer. Others remember his sense of humor and wit. Huffer came to Carmel in the fall of 1957 and served that year as an assistant coach in football, basketball and baseball. For 36 straight years he served as a head coach, assistant coach, or junior high coach in Carmel in a total of 5 different sports.
Coach Huffer initiated two sports at Carmel as the head coach in wrestling and boys’ golf. Huffer coached 15 seasons as the head wrestling coach with a careeer record of 89-54-4. In 35 seasons as the head coach of the boys’ golf team his teams had a record of 333-121.
Don Huffer coached 3 individual state champions in wrestling (Larry Smith, Dick Savidge, and Mike Dee) and an IHSAA Mental Attitude Award winner in both golf (Chuck Thoele) and wrestling (Larry Smith).
Mr. Huffer led the Greyhounds to the first of Carmel’s 159 IHSAA Team State Championships in 1970 in boys’ golf. It would be the first of his state record 5 championships in the sport (currently still the record). He also coached the first of Carmel’s 58 state runner-up teams in 1966 in Wrestling.
Among his many career accomplishments, Huffer would be named Indiana Golf Coach of the Year 5 times and would be named the National Coach of the Year for Boys’ Golf in 1983. Greyhound teams won 5 state championships, 5 state runner-up trophies, and 8 Olympic Conference titles. He would also be instrumental in the formation of the Indiana Golf Coaches Association.
Rest in Peace, Coach Huffer. Forever a Greyhound.
(Above) Don Huffer retirement letter to Principal William Duke in the spring of 1993.