Champion of Small Schools
The Wizard of Winslow. He was the strong silent man of Indiana high school basketball. A master basketball craftsman surpassed by few in fashioning dazzling power from limited resources, Kern was the champion of the small schools in Indiana basketball.
After a four-year career at Evansville College where he captained the 1934 team and played along side Arad McCutchan, who was to make his name as a collegiate coach, Kern coached a year at Cynthiana, then returned to gym-less Stendal where he won his first sectional.
Moving to Winslow, Kern quickly turned a languid basketball pulse into a stirring legend. Actually, he served three different stints as coach of the Eskimos and three times guided the little Pike County school into Indiana’s cherished and misty “Sweet 16.”
After 20 years of coaching at Winslow, Cynthiana, Greencastle, Stendal and Cannelton, during which his teams won 319 games and lost only 134. Kern “retired” to become principal at Winslow. But after one year he was back in coaching harness.
Although in failing health for three years before his death, the man who once made little Winslow a household word all over Indiana spent his last day as he had so many other days in his 55 years. He taught his classes at Newburgh grade school and attended a basketball game that night. Then he went home for a good night’s rest ….and never woke up.
And so, at the age of 55, another Hoosier basketball legend is gone. . . but the memory lingers on.