A Dream Come True
Cathedral Legend Linda Bamrick Talks Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Induction
Writer: Seth Johnson
Photography Provided by Cathedral
As a native of Indianapolis, Linda Bamrick grew up with basketball as a major part of her life. This hoops upbringing made her recent induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame a dream come true.
“No words can really be put to it,” says Bamrick, who served as the head coach of the Cathedral girls basketball team from 1987 to 2012. “That place is pretty intimidating. I’m walking through the halls, and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, I’m up here with the likes of these great people.’”
During her years at Cathedral, Bamrick racked up several achievements, leading her teams to 393 wins, including 11 sectional titles, four regional championships and three semi-state titles. Her teams also won 2000 and 2001 3A championships, following a 1999 3A runner-up finish.
“We had our ups and downs, but that was a special group,” Bamrick says, looking back on the championship teams. “That was a very rewarding time and experience for all of us.”
A graduate of Roncalli High School, Bamrick has early memories of playing basketball.
“That was the first sport I probably ever played,” she says. “I grew up with two older brothers, and we had a basketball goal in our driveway. Whatever sport was in season, that was what I played, but basketball was always my passion.”
Eventually, she would go on to play four years of high school basketball at Roncalli. The impact coaches had on her in high school first sparked her interest in coaching as well as her overall love for sports.
“I was the youngest of four children, and sports were a big part of our family,” she says. “It was kind of like a family bond, whether it was going to my games, watching my brothers play or just going to Pacers and Reds games.”
After earning her bachelor’s degree from Manchester University in 1984, Bamrick immediately jumped into coaching — a leap she says was a little daunting.
“I took my first job at Mitchell, Indiana, which is down there just south of Bloomington, and I was a head basketball coach at Mitchell at 21 years old,” she says. “That was an awakening type of experience. It was shell shocking a little bit.”
“When I came back to town, I did a substitute teaching position at Cathedral,” Bamrick says. “I was the varsity assistant coach in basketball for a year in 86-87. And then, the [head coach] position became open that following fall of ’87. I was in the building at that time, going to be a full-time teacher, and I was offered the position.”
In addition to her state championships, Bamrick also coached seven Indiana All-Stars during her time at Cathedral. For her, part of the joy in coaching was seeing her players blossom post-high school.
“I’m probably most proud of the relationships that I was able to build, not only with my assistant coaches, because many of them are still dear friends of me now, but also with my players,” Bamrick says. “Just to be able to follow their career paths, some of them played at the Division 1 level in college and then following what they’re doing right now. I still stay in touch with a lot of them.”
Although she’s moved on from coaching basketball, she will always cherish the memories she has from those years.
“It was just a really special time in all of our lives,” she says. “I have scrapbooks of those years that some of my former players have made for me.”
Currently, Bamrick still holds several athletics-related positions at Cathedral. In addition to teaching physical education and health, she serves as the director of Cathedral High School intramurals. She is also a physical education department chair, as well as the varsity assistant softball coach.