Gretchen Prichard graduated from Spencerville High School in 1954 and from Muskingum College in 1958. She received her Master Degree from the University of Dayton in 1982. Teaching Health, English and Physical Education, she served as Bath High School for 37 years. She started the softball program there (11-0 in 1974), the volleyball program (11-4 in 1975), and the girls’ basketball program (11-1 in 1971). Before starting these interscholastic programs, she was the GAA advisor twelve years.
Coach Prichard did all of her coaching at the same high school, Lima Bath, which is rare for modern day coaches. Her varsity teams amassed 460 victories balanced with 116 losses, with a 79.9% winning average. During her tenure, she had only one losing season and that team went on to win the state championship three years later! Her teams achieved the following championships and honors: Ten Western Buckeye League championship, eight runner-ups, seventeen sectional championships, two regional championships, 1987 AA State Champions, 1996 Division II state runner-ups, a 62-game winning streak from 1971-1976, six undefeated regular seasons, fifteen holiday championships, and in 1996, the mythical state poll champs.
Coach Prichard’s coaching honors included the 1983 and 1989 North-South All-Star Game Coach; 1994 and 1996 All Northwest Ohio Coach of the Year; 1996 All Ohio Coach of the Year, 1985 and 1987 OHSBCA Coach of the Year, eight times District 8 Coach of the Year, OGBM 1996 Dream Coach of the Year, OGBM Inagural Hall of Fame Inductee, WBCA 200, 300, and 400 victory winner, Lima YMCA’s first “Sportswoman of the Year”, OHSBCA 1998 Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, NHSBCA 1998 Woman’s Basketball Coach of the Year finalist, OHSBCA Bob Arnzen Longevity Award, OHSBCA State Rules Advisory Member, Clinician and Basketball Camp Director / Coach for 25 years.
Prichard has had nine players awarded Division I scholarships, six players became prominent coaches, and 40 players went on to excel in college ball. Coach Prichard’s main emphasis in coaching was to create teams that shoot and pass well, rebound and run the fast break, dominate on defense, and play unselfishly as a team. She believed that intense practice coupled with mental preparation enabled the players to enjoy the competition and perform at their best.
She and her husband Dave have been married forty years. Their three children, Clarke, Patrick, and Amy were “All Ohioans” at Bath High School. All three are or have been coaches, and coached at her camp for twenty years. She has four grandchildren: Paige, Dakota, Shelby, and Bailey.