Indiana basketball lost a legend when 87-year old Ed Siegel died from Covid-19

The state of Indiana lost a high-caliber college basketball player of another era, later to become a legendary coach, when Edward A. Siegel died at the age of 87 on April 22, 2020. He was a four-year letterman at Franklin College, a Division III school in Franklin IN, outside of Indianapolis. He graduated in 1950. He later was inducted into the Indiana (High School) Hall of Fame.

He led New Albany high school to the IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletic Association) state tournament semi-finals, where they lost 41-39 in overtime in his senior year.

A year in the army, then a coach at Stillwell H.S.

Siegel was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and had 18 months service before his 33-season varsity head coaching career at four Indiana high schools began in 1956 at Stillwell High School. That was followed by stints at Southwestern of Shelbyville, Boonville, and for 25 years with the Red Devils of Indianapolis Pike. By 1995 when he retired, he claimed 458 career wins, 400 of which were at Pike.

Two years later he was inducted into the Indiana (High School) Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 2004 Pike High School named its court facility the Edward A. Siegel Gymnasium.


“My High School (Pike) Coach Ed Siegel lost his battle to the virus today. . . (He) was and will always be more than a coach!!! He was a father figure!!! He played a tremendous role in my life in helping me become the man I am today! I will always be grateful for the time we had & shared!” –LaSalle Thompson III, on Facebook and who played at Indiana State and Ball State in the 1990s.

Governor Eric Holcomb had Siegel as a teacher at Pike and wrote on Facebook:
“For anyone who ever had Ed Siegel in class or on the court, yesterday, we lost a legend to heaven’s call. If you knew this larger than life Indianapolis Pike High School teacher & coach, please take a knee in prayer for the Siegel family. ‘Coach’ commanded attention whether you liked it or not, especially if you were a referee.

“As his students, we revered him. … For many, his influence was next to parental. He gave his heart and soul to Indiana and the game Hoosiers are famous for around the world. … We will miss him and honor his legacy by still seeking to never let him down.” –Eric Holcomb, Governor of Indiana

Outstanding success as a coach

He coached the Red Devils to six sectional and two regional titles, won five Marion County Tournaments and eight CSAC (Central Suburban Athletic Conference) championships. He was a seven-time CSAC Coach of the Year and was named Marion County Coach of the Year on three occasions.

College playing career

During his athletic career at Franklin College Siegel earned four varsity letters in basketball, was a starter for three seasons, and when a senior he was selected team captain and named all-conference. He also earned three letters each as captain of the cross-country, and of the track teams. He was a recipient of the Wil B. Nelp Award as the school’s outstanding senior athlete in 1954.

His 28-years of teaching and coaching at Pike High School began in 1967. During the 1970s Siegel coached the team to its first sectional, regional, Marion County and CSAC Conference basketball championships and in 1989-90 its first Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Classic win.

Over the years, Siegel has earned many honors. Eight times he was the CSAC Coach of the Year, four times named Marion County Coach of the Year, and on the college level was selected as the 1980 District III Coach of the Year by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

He leaves Carmen, his wife of 65 years, a daughter, son, and five grandchildren. Another son predeceased him.

He retired from coaching and teaching in June of 1995. By then his life in basketball was over. Twenty-five years later in 2020 the rest of his life was also over. The one thing Ed Siegel could not beat was the coronavirus.

Former college basketball players who died from coronavirus

March 23, 2020 Lee Green, 48, St. John’s
March 23, 2020 David Edwards, 48, Georgetown and Texas A&M
March 24, 2020 Jonathan Duck, 50, Iona
March 29, 2020 Arnold Obey, 73, Wagner
March 31, 2020 Harvey Sheff, 59, Yeshiva
April 1, 2020 Ted Vartelas, 89, UConn
April 6, 2020 Marty Derer, 56, Rutgers-Camden
April 15, 2020 Matt Gras, 46, Siena
April 22, 2020 Ed Siegel, 87, Franklin
April 28, 2020 Charles “Duffy” Jernigan, 61, Eastern CT

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