Coaching legend Guy Strong passes away

Published 3:11 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2024

By Matt Cizek, The Winchester Sun

By the early 1980s, Guy Strong already had a coaching resume befitting Hall of Fame status.  Yet that didn’t stop him from making an impact on Winchester.

Strong, who successfully guided the George Rogers Clark High School boys basketball team from 1983-1990 and again from 1995-2001, passed away Sunday morning at 93.

During that time, he led the Cards to the Sweet 16 of the KHSAA State Tournament on three occasions, including the Final Four in 1990.  A native of Estill County, Strong was no stranger to athletics from an early age, excelling at football, baseball, and basketball while at Irvine High School.  Following graduation, Strong attended the University of Kentucky, where he played baseball and basketball from 1948 to 1951 under legendary coach Adolph Rupp.

He was a member of the 1951 NCAA Championship team.  Strong also served in the Korean War and played for two years at Eastern Kentucky University.  He later coached at Eastern Kentucky University, leading the Colonels for six seasons from 1967-1973, including an NCAA Division 1 Tournament berth in 1972.

Beforehand, he guided Division II Kentucky Wesleyan from 1963-1967, including a national championship in 1966.  He also coached at Oklahoma State University from 1973-1977.

In addition to his term as Head Coach of the Cardinals, Strong served administratively in multiple roles, including Assistant Principal and Principal at GRC.

Following the news of his passing, several sources responded.  While sharing or retweeting several links and posts across its social media accounts, the Cards’ official Facebook page wrote, “RIP Coach Guy Strong! A true Kentucky legend & role model for so many!”

Recognizing Strong as a member of the Clark County Public Schools Hall of Fame, the official X account of CCPS wrote, “Clark County Public Schools has lost an integral figure in our story with the passing of Coach Guy Strong…Coach Strong led with integrity and strength as GRC principal and Cardinal basketball coach. Rest easy, Coach Strong.”

On its official X account, Smoke Signals Student Media even referenced Strong’s continued commitment and support of GRC, stating that he sent a monetary donation in the past year.

Strong was married for over 60 years to the former Aleen Noland of Irvine, who predeceased him in 2016.  They had three children – Mina, Nancy, and Marla – and multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren.