Honoring Louise Owen
Article from Courier and Press: Gordon Engelhardt.
EVANSVILLE – Tennis legend and pioneering girls’ basketball coach Louise Owen, a member of one of Evansville’s first sports families of the past several decades, died Friday at age 88 from Alzheimer’s disease.
A member of several hall of fames, Owen guided Reitz’s girls’ basketball team to the 1981 state championship. Barb Dykstra, one of the standouts on that team, said Owen was a people person first.
“Louise knew people; she knew how to read and manage the many different personalities on the team,” Dykstra said Saturday. “Also, we all knew she was a competitor and that rubbed off on all those around her. Her excitement for the game was contagious. She was the best! I’ll miss her dearly.”
Owen led Reitz to a sectional championship in the first year of IHSAA girls’ basketball and guided the 1981 team to the state title and a 26-1 record. She was coach of the Indiana All-Stars in ’81.
Several surviving family members were also local head coaches. Her son, Mike, coached Central’s football and tennis teams. Her grandson, Andy, coached Central’s football team and is currently EVSC athletic director. Her husband, Archie, coached Bosse’s football team, among others. He passed away in 1998.
A celebration of Louise’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Browning Funeral Home on Diamond Avenue. Burial will follow at a later date at Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends may visit from noon to 8 p.m. Monday and again from 10 a.m. until service time on Tuesday at the funeral home.
Louise, a 1947 Central and 1951 University of Evansville graduate, coached women’s tennis and track as well as basketball at Reitz. She won countless City and state women’s tennis championships and was an internationally-ranked senior women’s doubles player.
She is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, the UE Athletic HOF, Indiana High School Tennis HOF and Greater Evansville Sports HOF in tennis.
The staff and tennis community at Tri-State Athletic Club morn the loss of such an amazing woman. Her legacy will live on, forever in our hearts.