AUDIO: Gus Moorhead’s Grandson Puts “The Ol’ Coach Sez” Into Book Form

Posted On November 22, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

Jared Rogers (right) has compiled his grandfather’s old newspaper articles into a new book titled The Ol’ Coach Sez: Essential Indiana Basketball Collection. Gus Moorhead’s son and Jared’s uncle, Rob Moorhead, is helping promote the book targeted at Indiana basketball fans. Photo by Mike Perleberg, Eagle Country 99.3.

(Versailles, Ind.) – Late Versailles High School and South Ripley High School teacher, coach, and principal William “Gus” Moorhead penned a column in the local newspapers for 15 years.

Moorhead’s articles, titled “The Ol’ Coach Sez”, would relate to readers stories of his childhood, playing basketball in Madison, coaching in Versailles, and taking on the 1954 Milan Indians.

Gus’ grandson, Jared Rogers, is now a reporter for the Ripley Publishing Company. He’s compiled dozens of his grandfather’s columns into a new book, The Ol’ Coach Sez: Essential Indiana Basketball Collection. His mother, Jane Rogers, had kept many of the newspaper columns her father wrote.

“Putting together the book, it was as if I got to spend extra time with my grandfather,” says Jared Rogers. “You often think of your grandparents as the ones giving you sage advice and there are certainly those lessons imparted throughout the sports stories. There’s plenty of humor and plenty of history.”


If the audio player does not appear, click here to listen to the interview.

Rogers says readers of the book with learn or reminisce about life in the 1950s and 1960s. The lessons in his grandfather’s articles often focused on the importance of embracing fundamentals, not being afraid of hard work, showing enthusiasm, and being disciplined.

The coach’s son and Jared’s uncle, Rob Moorhead, says his father had expressed interest in writing about the history of Ripley County basketball before he died in 2008 at the age of 79.

“He never got around to putting that book together, but through Jared’s work, he really has now. Dad wrote that book one week at a time in this column that he wrote for The Versailles Republican,” Rob says, thanking the newspaper for allowing the columns to be republished in book form.

Rob Moorhead, superintendent of South Ripley Community School Corporation, followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a college basketball player at Hanover College, a coach, and now and school administrator.

Gus Moorhead as a player and a principal. Photos via Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Rogers is donating five percent of the proceeds from the book sales to the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame, of which Gus was a member. He was also a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, inducted in 1980.

The 222-page book is for sale for $19.99 on Amazon. Rogers is working to get local shops and bookstores to carry The Ol’ Coach Sez.

It can also be purchased for $20 at upcoming book signings with Rogers.

-Saturday, December 2, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Versailles Holiday on the Square celebration.

-Saturday, December 9, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at Tyson Library in Versailles.

-Monday, December 11, before and after 6:00 p.m. book presentation at the Jefferson County Library.

More signings may be held at area high school basketball games during the 2017-2018 basketball season.

Gus Moorhead was also featured in an award winning mini-documentary about the history of Tyson Auditorium by Eagle Country 99.3’s Mike Perleberg in 2008. Listen to it in the audio player below.

If the audio player does not appear, click here to listen to the story.

Gus Moorhead (center) with former Indiana University coach Bobby Knight (left) and former Madison High School coach Julius “Bud” Ritter. Photo provided.