The Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association is proud to announce that Dick Berning of Cincinnati St. Xavier High School is the recipient of the 1985 Paul Walker Award. The Paul Walker Award is presented annually by the OHSBCA to an active coaching member of the association who has made significant contributions to high school basketball. The award is named in honor of the late Paul Walker, the long time coach of Middletown High School. At the time of his retirement, he had the most wins as a boys basketball coach in Ohio High School Basketball history.
Dick Berning’s name is synonymous with high school basketball in Cincinnati. He serves as the head coach of basketball at St. Xavier High School, where his career began in 1955. In that four decade span, he had the amazing record of 568 wins against 300 losses, average of fourteen wins per season. He led his teams to ten Greater Cincinnati League championships, six district championships, one regional and one state runner-up finish. Among his most notable seasons with the Bomber teams were 1957-58 and 1985-86, when each team was named City Champ in the Cincinnati Enquirer high school poll, and 1964-65 when his team made it the State Tournament finals.
A graduate of Roger Bacon High School and Xavier University, he played both basketball and baseball. Berning is an honored member of the St. Xavier, Roger Bacon and Hamilton County Sports Halls of Fame. He was selected to coach the South squad in the Ohio High School All-Star Game in 1965 and again in 1984. In 1992, Dick received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Pro/Am. He was considered by his peers to be the “guru” of high school basketball throughout his career in Southwest Ohio.
Dick and his wife of 39 years, Anne Mae, parented four children: Lori, a teacher; Jenny, a senior at Xavier University; Tom, employed at Besse Pharmaceutical; and Rick, an accountant at Mercy Health System. Dick’s family has been a part of St. Clare Parish for more than 32 years.
Coach Berning, who passed away in late 1995, left Ohio high school basketball a legacy of standards for excellence that will be hard matched.