Legendary East High Basketball Coach Knows How To Win
Story and photos by Reid Neureiter
Special to the GPHN
On Dec. 1, legendary East High basketball Coach Rudy Carey became only the second high school coach in Colorado history to register 800 wins, joining former Denver Christian Coach Dick Katte, who retired in 2012.
For Carey, win No. 800 came with a 74-27 victory over Thompson Valley. And on Dec. 4, Carey was honored on his home court by both East High fans and administrators, as well as representatives of the Denver Public Schools, prior to a boys varsity home game against Standley Lake.
During a pre-game presentation, East seniors Kwane Marble and Clayton Finley-Ponds unfurled a congratulatory banner, while a DPS Athletics representative presented Carey with framed personalized Denver East jersey number “800.” East’s varsity squad then promptly delivered win number 801, thrashing Standley Lake behind 6’5” guard Marble’s 35 points, five assists, and eight rebounds. Carey was as animated as he always is during the game, strategizing with his son and assistant coach, David Carey, gesticulating at his players, and working the referees.
Carey spoke briefly during the pre-game ceremony, thanking the East administration for its support, and saying he was most thankful to the players he has coached over the years. (He began coaching at East in 1992.)
In an exclusive interview with the Greater Park Hill News, East Principal John Youngquist shared how grateful the Denver East community is for Coach Carey’s many contributions.
“Rudy has been a teacher and leader in our community for many years, and has allowed us to ensure that thousands of young people have been able to leave the court and the hallways of East High School with success in their future,” Youngquist said. “As a coach in the Denver Public Schools and at East High School, Rudy has been a force allowing young people in our community to take pride in who we are for the excellence on the court and in the classroom.
“We are excited about Rudy’s success through his students. He is a person and a coach that takes little credit but great pride in the success of his young people on the court, and also in their lives. We all understand Rudy is a legendary coach, but we relate to him every day because of the genuinely caring and thoughtful person he is.”
In addition to his 800-plus wins, Carey-coached teams have won a record nine state titles (three at Manual High School and six at East), with the most recent coming in 2014.