Herb Webster from Kearney will be honored as a Distinguished Alumni at North Central Missouri College on Thursday, April 28. Webster graduated from Galt High School in 1963. He attended Trenton Junior College from the fall of 1963-1965 where he earned his A.A. transfer degree. He then received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Truman State University in 1967 and 1970.
Coach Webster began his teaching career at Tri-County High School in Jamesport, Missouri. In his first year, along with his teaching duties, he was the high school principal, athletic director, and coach. His coaching duties included the head of both boys’ and girls’ basketball and boys’ track. During his tenure at Tri-County, the Missouri State High School Activities Association transitioned girls’ basketball; changing from three-on-three style to adding a “rover,” and finally, the five-on-five style that is played today. Coach Webster also started the girls’ track team and a softball team for both boys and girls during his seven years at Tri-County.
In 1974, Coach Webster and his wife Beverly (Cunningham) Webster moved to Hamilton, MO. At Penney High School, he started and coached the first girls’ basketball team, served as head boys’ coach, and girls’ track coach. In his second year at Penney, he was named High School Principal and Athletic Director while continuing his coaching duties. During his five-year tenure as head girls’ coach, the Penney girls’ team compiled a record of 119 wins and ten losses winning four district titles and a 1977 undefeated state championship. Remarkable considering it was the team’s third year in existence. The ladies continued with a 3rd place finish in 1978 and a 4th place finish in 1979. Coach Webster was selected coach of the year in 1977 and 1979.
In the fall of 1979, Coach and his family moved to Kearney, MO where he became the girls’ basketball coach and also the junior high football coach. He became the athletic director for the Kearney district as well as the assistant principal in 1983 and continued to be the head girls’ basketball coach. During his tenure as the athletic director at Kearney, the school instituted girls’ and boys’ tennis, girls’ and boys’ golf, girls’ and boys’ soccer, girls’ and boys’ swimming, junior high volleyball and wrestling.
With all his years of serving in other capacities, Coach Webster is best known for his success as a basketball coach. In 1986, his Kearney girls’ team advanced to the state championships and came away with a 2nd place finish. His overall record at Kearney is 560 wins and 330 losses.
Coach Webster retired from coaching in 2012. In his 45 years, his overall record stands at 903-566. His girls’ record alone is 742-447 making him the most winning girls’ basketball coach in the state.
His accomplishments include eleven conference titles, nine district championships, 16 years of 20 or more victories, 23 consecutive years of winning basketball, coaching seven first team all-state players, five-second team all-state players, and four academic all-state players. Coach Webster was elected to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2002. He has also received the Outstanding Missourian Award presented by the Missouri House of Representatives. Coach Webster was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Current NCMC women’s basketball coach Jenni Croy commented, “Coach Webster has been a huge influence in the lives of many young people including myself. He was and is gifted at pushing you to be and achieve your best. He challenged his players each and every day to strive to be their best both on the court and in the game of life. He never settled for mediocrity. He cared about you both as a person and a player. Due to his influence on me, I chose to pursue a career in coaching. I am very thankful and blessed to have played for a coach with such high character and expectations. His work ethic and his desire to achieve greatness shows by his decorated career as a coach”.
Anyone interested in attending the ceremony, please contact Teresa Cross at 660-359-3948 x1403 or by e-mail at [email protected] for additional information.