State Stories

11

Springfield’s Scheffler Played, Coached & Officiated in IHSA Basketball State Finals

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A legendary athlete in the Springfield area, Herbert Scheffler is believed to be the first person in state history to play, coach and officiate in an IHSA State Final Tournament.

For Scheffler, all three came on the hardwood. He was a part of the Springfield High School basketball team that won the IHSA state title during the 1916-17 season, before he went on to star at the University of Oklahoma, which led to a professional basketball career.

Scheffler returned to coach his alma mater in 1947, guiding Springfield High School to the state tournament in 1954. He completed the trifecta in 1961 when he officiated the state title contest between Collinsville and Thornton.

Scheffler passed away in 2001, but lives on in the Illinois’ capital city, as the gymnasium at Springfield High School is named in his honor.