Plymouth High School graduate Steve Yoder is among 17 candidates named to the 2020 Class of the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Yoder joins Jack Edison and Scott Skiles in the Hall of Fame.
During his playing days at Plymouth, Yoder played three varsity seasons for the Pilgrims. He scored 924 career points, and was also a part of one sectional championship his junior year.
After graduation, Yoder earned his college degree while playing basketball and baseball at Illinois Wesleyan University. He then started his teaching and basketball coaching career at Glen Ellyn, IL. He stayed there one year before coming home to Plymouth in 1964 as a teacher and assistant basketball and baseball coach. He became the Head Coach of the Pilgrims two years later during the 1966-1967 season.
He was the Head Coach of the Pilgrims for six years leading them to a 105-36 record. The Pilgrims also won three IHSAA Sectionals and two Regionals during this time. His 1970 Pilgrim squad came within two points of making the Final Four as they fell to Carmel in the 1970 Semi-State championship game 53-52. The Pilgrims finished ranked in the Top 10 in the State twice during his tenure.
Steve Phillips, 1971 Plymouth graduate and a member of the 1971 Indiana All-Star team, played for Coach Yoder four years. According to Phillips, “Coach Yoder pushed you to be the best player you could be. This was both physically and mentally. He was a coach that did not sway from his principles, regardless of the circumstances.”
One of Yoder’s assistant coaches during part of his tenure as Head Coach of the Pilgrims was long-time Pilgrim Coach Jack Edison. “To have someone like him [Yoder] as your Head Coach to work under was such a blessing for me. His knowledge of offense, defense, and basic fundamentals was great. It was wonderful to see how a good coach goes about preparing for things,” said Edison.
1972 PHS graduate Kevin Weidner played for Yoder in baseball and basketball. “Coach was tough but fair and he made us work hard,” according to Weidner when he played baseball for Yoder. In talking about him as a basketball coach, Weidner said, “He was a genius. He was always prepared, consistent in his teaching, and a pleasure to play for. Even after I graduated, we stayed in touch from time to time. I knew that he was busy but still had time to communicate.”
Yoder moved to the college game for two years during the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons. He was an assistant coach for Furman University in South Carolina. Indiana High School Basketball came calling once again for Yoder during the 1975-76 season as he landed as the Head Coach at Penn for just one season. He went 10-13 with the Kingsmen that year.
Ball State University Basketball came calling after that. He was an assistant coach for the Cardinals during the 1976-77 season before being named Head Coach for the 1977-78 season. He stayed with the Cardinals six years. He compiled a 77-62 career record for the Cardinals during his tenure.
The University of Wisconsin was next for Yoder as he stayed with the Badgers for 10 years compiling a 128-165 record. In 1988, Yoder lead the Badgers to the NIT Tournament, their first postseason appearance in 40 years.
After retiring from coaching, Yoder spent time scouting in the NBA. He worked for the Indiana Pacers for three years. He then left the Pacers and scouted for the New York Knicks for eight years.
In 2014 he became the Head of Basketball Operations for the University of Houston Basketball Program. He did that for three years before retiring completely from basketball. Yoder now lives in the Sarasota, Fl area.
The induction ceremony for the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame will take place on Wednesday, 3/25/20 during the week of the IHSAA Boys Basketball State Finals. The day will begin with a reception at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle. The banquet will be held at Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.