Adam Dennis aims to keep Pacers winning tradition going as new head boys basketball coach


Great major life-changing moments are happening all at once for Adam Dennis,

Just three weeks ago, he became a father when his wife, Meganmarie, gave birth of their daughter, Maevry. And then on Monday night he was named boys basketball coach at Switzerland County High School.

Coaching basketball has been a goal for Adam Dennis since his senior year in high school when he played for the Pacers under David Todd. “I’ve been doing my homework, making sure I was prepared” to become a head coach when the opportunity came available, he said.

Adam Dennis was named head coach following the resignation earlier this month of B.J. McAlister, who accepted a position as varsity assistant at New Albany High School.

The Pacer boys basketball has been very successful in recent years. Switzerland County posted an overall record of 57-33 during B.J. McAlister’s four years as head coach. Before that, Brian Bowen had a 61-27 record over four years.

Adam Dennis has been there the whole time, starting as a volunteer assistant with David Todd during the 2005-2006 season then continuing to advance up the coaching ranks under Brian Bowen and B.J. McAlister.

“I’ve enjoyed being a part of it, and we’ve had a lot of success,” Adam Dennis said.

The Pacers have compiled 18-5 records each of the last two seasons, including a sectional championship two years ago, while Adam Dennis has served as varsity assistant coach.

He thinks the Pacers will continue to be successful. “I’m excited about the kids we have coming back,” he said. “They’re working hard to improve, and are getting in the gym and getting better, and are improving every day.”

Adam Dennis, the son of Mark Dennis of Fairview and Wilma Dennis of Vevay, grew up in the Fairview area and now lives near Vevay. He graduated from Manchester College then began teaching in the Switzerland County School Corporation in 2005 as an Algebra teacher at the middle school, and five years ago began teaching Algebra at the high school. Adam Dennis is a 2001 graduate of Switzerland County High School, and played basketball for the Pacers under David Todd during the 2000-2001 season.

It was David Todd’s leadership as the Pacers coach that drove Adam Dennis to want to become a head coach. “He’s been the most influential person in my life besides my father,” he said. And throughout the years he’s continued to learn from others including Brian Bowen and B.J. McAlister, and Brian Cashdollar, who was his track and cross country coach at Manchester College.

Still, when Adam Dennis takes over as coach of the Pacers, he’s going to be his own person. “I think you have to,” he said. “It has to be you or it becomes fake. You have to find your own niche.” However, defense will continue to be emphasized in the Pacers program. “If you have stops, you’re going to have success. You’re only as good as your defense. Our program will still be based on defense.”

Adam Dennis said he had the endorsement of B.J. McAlister. “When the position became open, B.J. and I talked, and he knew I had wanted to become a varsity head coach for awhile. The timing was right and I applied.”

The school corporation had confidence enough in Adam Dennis that it didn’t need much time to choose him for the head varsity job. He was approved just a couple of weeks after B.J. McAlister had resigned. “The administration has been extremely supportive, and I appreciate that.”

Evan Morgan, a native of Crawfordsville and graduate of Indiana University, will replace Adam Dennis as the varsity assistant. He was hired by the school corporation on Monday as a physical education teacher. “He wants to be a head coach some day. I’m excited about having him and think he’ll do a good job,” Adam Dennis said.

Mark Boggs will continue as the junior varsity coach. “Since I’ve been here, Mark has been here for all of it, and he’s been a big part of our success,” Adam Dennis said.