Athletics & Recreation
Bob Straight graduated from Hammond High School and Ball State University, then coached basketball and taught at Earl Park, Hammond and Highland high schools before arriving at Huntington High School in 1959. He was immediately successful as the boys’ basketball coach, capped by his 1964 state runner-up team.
In what has been considered one of the best Final Four fields in Indiana tournament history, Straight’s 1964 Vikings defeated top-ranked and unbeaten Columbus in the semifinal before falling to No. 2 Lafayette Jeff in the title game. Straight’s standout senior Mike Weaver earned the Trester Award that year, and Weaver and Mike Shumaker were named Indiana All-Stars. The familiar yellow shirt that Straight wore during that season now hangs in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
In his coaching career, Straight won 286 games with a 71.7 winning percentage. At Huntington, he won eight sectionals, four regionals and one semistate in his eight seasons.
Following his coaching career, Straight led Huntington High School (later Huntington North) as principal from 1967-86, overseeing consolidation and the construction of the new high school, auditorium and North Arena. He was elected to the Indiana High School Athletic Association Board of Control and Executive Committee from 1976 to 1984, serving as president of the IHSAA Board of Directors from 1980 to 1983.
He served 25 years with the Huntington University Foundation, and helped start the Foundation’s Annual Fund Drive.
Straight was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979, and later joined the Hall’s board of directors. He was president of the Hall of Fame when he guided the construction of the Hall of Fame building in New Castle in 1990. The basketball court at North Arena was dedicated as Bob Straight Court in 2015.