After 19 years, Kelly Ballard has decided to retire from his role as Evansville Day School’s Head Varsity Basketball Coach. Kelly will continue his student-centered, impressive career at Day School as a technology teacher and head of the broadcast journalism and filmmaking programs. Coach Ballard’s tenure with the basketball program has resulted in many successes on and off the court. His 201 wins are by far the most in school history, and Kelly has coached several elite athletes, including Jeremy Willis ‘99, Evansville’s all-time leading scorer and a member of the Evansville Basketball Hall of Fame. Day School won a sectional championship in 2012 and numerous student-athletes have continued playing basketball at the collegiate level.
After careful consideration and thoughtful conversation, Coach Ballard and Athletic Director Tom Dragon have selected Austin Brooks ‘01 as the next varsity basketball coach at Evansville Day School. Austin was a tremendous student-athlete at Day School. Coach Ballard remembers Austin as “one of the best kids I’ve ever coached. He was a very talented player, but he was a better teammate and person. He was the kind of person that makes everyone around him better.”
After graduating from Day School, Austin received a full scholarship to play basketball at Ancilla College and then at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he majored in sociology. Rodney Watson, one of Austin’s coaches at SIU and the current Head Coach at The University of Southern Indiana, commented, "Austin Brooks was one of my favorite student athletes at Southern Illinois University. His work ethic, desire, attitude and love for the game made it fun to coach every day. Austin was the ultimate teammate and team player. He gave everything he had to his team and his school. Evansville Day School is extremely fortunate to have Austin Brooks lead its basketball program. Congratulations on a great hire!”
Austin is currently working toward his Master’s in Business Administration and is relocating from the St. Louis, Missouri area where he works as a regional family therapist with the Division of Youth Services. Austin’s coaching career includes assistant boys varsity basketball coach at Beaumont High School (2008-09) and Berkley High School (2011-2016) and head girls freshman basketball coach at Berkley (2010-11).
According to retired Day School educator, Kathy Richardson, “This is exciting news for our basketball program...I'll remember Austin's humble attitude and unselfish team play, along with the other four seniors on the team. Those teammates were fiercely loyal to each other. I would imagine that Austin will inspire that same team spirit and loyalty at EDS.”