The offseason of change in area prep basketball has turned back to the SAC as Snider coach Jeremy Rauch announced his resignation on Thursday, April 27.
“I love Snider. And Snider Basketball. It’s a special place, and special athletic culture. Great kids, great parents; Snider Basketball has always and will always mean family to me,” Rauch said.
Rauch came to Snider in 2016 and found immediate success. That first season saw a conference title and one of the most notable finishes in the past decade or more on December 16 of that year when a Mike Barnfield three pointer sank North Side at the buzzer in overtime.
This past season, amidst a rebuild, Snider was just 3-21; just the fourth losing season of Rauch’s career.
During his run as the head coach of the Panthers, Rauch went 90-78. Along the way, he captured a pair of Sectional titles (2020, 2022) and a SAC in his initial season. Several of his players went on to play college basketball, including standouts Malik Williams (Louisville), Dillon Duff (Rose-Hulman) and Michael Eley (Siena), among many others.
“Really blessed to have been able to work with those guys. The level of play, attention to detail, commitment to improvement that they brought was what made coaching at Snider so special,” Rauch said of the players he had at Snider. “They challenged us as coaches because of how they craved coaching and improvement. We are proud that in our time, we had four (almost five) 1,000 point scorers, two players both broke the record for most points in a season in the same season, an Indiana All Star, an Indiana Junior All Star. Was a special run no question.”
Rauch broke a long string of Snider seasons without a postseason win during his first season with a win over Carroll in Sectional play, though they lost to North Side in the Sectional finals in 2017. Prior to that, the program had not won a postseason game since 2009’s run to the state finals. Rauch led Snider to three Sectional finals in three straight seasons. After winning a title over Northrop in 2020, the remainder of the postseason was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Snider returned to the finals in 2021, falling to Carroll.
In 2022, Rauch led the Panthers to a Sectional title win over Northrop before falling in the Regional morning game to Kokomo.
“I think it validated the work that we put in,” Rauch said of the three straight Sectional final trips. “There weren’t many years when our best players weren’t our hardest workers. And with that, the ceiling of a team is pretty high. We had players who not only committed to be great players but did so in a way that helped our team achieve success.”
Prior to taking the reins at Snider, Rauch spent time at DeKalb and Southridge as the head coach. He is 169-132 in 13 seasons as a varsity head coach. He won 17 games on two separate occasions in his four seasons at Southridge and in two seasons at DeKalb, he was an even 23-23.
For now, leaving high school basketball behind means it is family time and continuing on full time in the classroom. Rauch will continue to teach Health classes at Snider High School. What else is next though for a guy who is constantly looking to evolve?
“Take a breath,” Rauch said with a laugh. “Commit to nothing long term; I look forward to having a June, to having a Christmas break. And I have a couple other projects that I’m excited to grow more.”
Rauch will keep his hand in basketball a bit as he has helped run the upstart Flow Hoop program alongside Logan Traylor, offering camps, clinics and leagues for area players of multiple age groups.
“Flow Hoop is definitely one of the projects I look to develop more. Flow is a mental state where your purpose and passion meet. And for me, that has always been on the basketball court. So I look forward to doing more trainings, more clinics and camps, etc. Growing the game, and growing our youth through basketball as much as possible,” Rauch said.
The moments are something Rauch says will be long lasting, struggling to narrow down what was his favorite during his time on the Panther sideline. Instead, he just had a laundry list of the momentous occasions during his run with the program.
“Wow, that’s obviously impossible,” he said. “From Mike Barnfield hitting the game winner against North Side my first year. Jon Barnes hitting the three-quarter court shot to beat Homestead a few years later. I’ll never forget asking Dillon Duff if he had another three in him, as he carried us to a sectional championship. Hugging the coaches after we won. Hugging my wife after we won our championships.
To celebrate in the joy of accomplishment with the people who were in the arena—the battle and grind to get there—has been my favorite moments coaching Snider Basketball.”
Snider will now search for just its fourth head coach since 1997 when Ray Sims took the position. When Sims left after the 2008-2009 season, John Todor took over and led the program until 2016 when his resignation led to Rauch’s move to the school.
The Panthers will return several players from this past season’s young team including senior-to-be Ke’ron Billingsley, who was Snider’s leading scorer at 11.9 points per game. Back too will be sophomore duo Landen Fry and Qualyn Clopton.
This whole article is going to turn into a sham when he is announced as Bellmont’s basketball coach.