Richard L. (Dick) PottsRichard L. (Dick) Potts finished his career as the Ohio Valley’s all-time winningest basketball coach with 589 career victories.
Inducted into the Ohio High School Hall of Fame in 1983 by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association, Potts coached a total of 40 seasons, all of which where spent in Monroe County. He began in 1951 at
Bethel High School. His 1957 Blackhawks came out of the Monroe County hills at tournament time and advanced all the way to the Ohio Class A state finals where they lost by a single point. At the time the school had just 13 boys in grades nine through 12 and all but one of the male students was on the basketball team.
In seven years at Bethel, his teams won more than 20 games five times, including the 27-2 miracle team that played in the state tournament.
When the school was taken into the Skyvue consolidation after the ’58 campaign, Potts was named coach of the Golden Hawks where he spent four years before moving on to River High in 1963. He remained at the Pilots’ helm through the 1991 season.
The former Hannibal High School athlete was named in 1981 as the recipient of the prestigious Ohio Paul Walker Award, given in memory of Jerry Lucas’ high school coach at Middletown, Ohio. Walker was the Buckeye State’s all-time winningest coach.
The navy veteran, Potts was the first OVAC coach to reach the 500-win plateau in basketball, reaching that goal with a win over Monroe County rival Woodsfield in 1983.
Considered a master strategist and teacher of the game, Potts may have been at his best during critical situations in post-season play. His teams won seven overtime tournament games, including a nine-OT win achieved by River against Morgan in Class AA sectional play.