Monday, June 18, 2007

PHS Distinguished Alumni Award

Max Frederick (Fred) Kehoe was born February 13, 1928 to Goldie and Pius Kehoe. A natural athlete, Fred was a three-sport athlete at Plymouth High School, earning eight varsity letters. He lettered two years in football, led the team in scoring and rushing his senior year, and was named to the All-Conference Team. He lettered in basketball two years and led the team in scoring his senior year; he was named All-Sectional and All-Conference. He also lettered in track, participating in pole vault, high jump and 880 relay. Fred graduated from PHS in 1946.

Fred then attended Ball State University where he was also a three-sport athlete, a rare achievement. He lettered four years in football and led the team in rushing and touchdowns all four years. His 14 TDs during his senior year and 30 career TDs remained a BSU record for more than 30 years. He established records for most points in one season (84) and career points (156). During Fred’s senior year, he led Indiana colleges in scoring and was named to the All-State Team, and was halfback for the only undefeated, untied football team in BSU history. As a junior, he tied for second in the state in scoring with 11 TDs. He lettered two years in basketball and was the starting guard his senior year. He also lettered two years in track. Fred graduated in from Ball Sate in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He also has an M.A. degree from Indiana University (1956).

After graduation, Fred was hired by Plymouth High School as an Assistant Coach in Football until being drafted into the United States Army. While in the Army, he played football for two years and was the starting halfback at Ft. Knox for an undefeated team. He was team Captain and led the team in scoring. As starting halfback for the 29th Regiment for an undefeated team, he led in rushing and scoring. His football team was 2nd Army Champions. Fred also played basketball at Ft. Knox, and taught and coached basketball and track in the American Independent School on Okinawa.

Following his military experience, Fred returned to PHS as Assistant Coach from 1952-55 and coached an undefeated junior high football team (1953). Fred was named Head Football Coach at PHS from 1956-58. He also served as Head Golf Coach for two years and Basketball Coach for one year. He then went to Ball State University where he was Assistant Football and Offensive Backfield Coach from 1958-1970. He was also Freshman Coach for Basketball for one year and Baseball for 4 years. He was Offensive Coordinator in charge of recruiting in football for nine years.

Fred’s exceptional coaching honors include: record of 14-2-1 as Head Football Coach for Plymouth High School, coaching Bill Nixon (PHS football team captain) and Steve Yoder (head basketball coach for Ball State and Wisconsin University) from 7th grade through high school. While at Ball State, he coached halfbacks Jim Todd and Amos Van Pelt who became professionals in the NFL. Ball State’s 1965 team was undefeated and played in the Grantland Rice Bowl (tie game with Tennessee State). The 1967 team also played in the Grantland Rice Bowl. He left coaching to become Assistant Athletic Director for BSU from 1970-1982. He was also Associate Professor of Physical Education for 20 years (1968-1988).

After his retirement from Ball State, Fred taught golf at the United States Golf Academy (1988-1994) in Plymouth, IN. Recognized for his outstanding accomplishments in sports, Fred is a Charter Member of the Ball State University Hall of Fame and a Member of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame. His achievements, however, extend to community and volunteer service as well. He received an Indiana Angel Award (sports category), the Bill Shuman Outstanding Volunteer Award (Heart to Heart Crisis Pregnancy Center, Muncie, IN), and was presented a key to the City of Muncie for outstanding dedication to the church, Ball State, and citizens of Muncie. For 12 years, Fred was President of Full Gospel Business Men Fellowship International, a regional speaker and committee member. He was a keynote speaker for Plymouth Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.

Fred married Barbara Drake (daughter of Walter and Della Drake) of Plymouth in 1953; they have four children: Steve (wife Amy), Jama (Bigger, husband John), Doug (wife Laura), and Julee; they have nine grandchildren. He is an avid golfer, enjoys time with his family, and now cheers for his grandchildren’s sports participation.