TriCounty No high school boys basketball coach in Illinois has ever had a start like Wayne McClain of Manual, for the second consecutive time named the Tri-County Male Coach of the Year by the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.
In his first season as head coach after a long apprenticeship to Dick Van Scyoc, the state's winningest coach of all time, all McClain did was direct the Rams to a 32-2 record and a state championship, the second in a row for Manual.
And for an encore?
Manual was just as potent last season, going 31-1, was ranked the No. 1 team in the state all season and climaxed things by whipping Harvey Thornton for the second straight time to again win the state title.
Which means McClain is two-for-two in the search for the most coveted state trophy in basketball and Manual had won three consecutive state titles.
A former Ram player who also played one season at Bradley, McClain put teams on the floor, led by 6-foot-5 son Sergio McClain and 6-foot-9 Marcus Griffin, that boasted great firepower, strong rebounding and a style of play that was so intense it totally disrupted team after team.
For his first two seasons, McClain's teams went 63-3.
No high school boys basketball coach in Illinois has ever had a start like Wayne McClain of Manual, for the second consecutive time named the Tri-County Male Coach of the Year by the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.
Jim Lewis served as Athletic Director, head football, golf, basketball, and baseball coach at Pekin Community High School during his career from 1933-1955. Jim received his BA from the University of Illinois and a masters from the University of Iowa. During his days at the University of Illinois he played football and basketball. Jim also served in the military. Jim Lewis started his coaching career at Pekin in 1933 with the baseball team. He compiled a record of 118-71-1 in eleven seasons under his direction. Lewis led Pekin to six regional titles in his seven seasons as basketball coach, including state trophies in 1947 (4th place) and 1948 (3rd place). Jim coached football for eleven seasons with a 71-30-1 record. The 1951 unbeaten Pekin football team was the first team in the history of the school to win ten games. The 1951 team was considered the mythical Number 1 team in the state. Pekin won both the Greater Peoria Illini Conference and the Big 12 Conference titles that year. Jim's golf teams excelled, winning a 3rd place (1948) and a 2nd place (1949) in the state tournament during his seven years as coach. Jim Lewis was one of the driving forces behind building Pekin Memorial Stadium. Jim was a member in three Halls of Fame, the Pekin High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and the IBCA Hall of Fame. Even by today's standards, Coach Lewis' coaching achievements are legendary.