Hostetler ‘Unretires,’ Takes Helm of Lady War Eagles Basketball
By Space Coast Daily // November 21, 2013
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – After a three year “retirement,” and many accolades including induction into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame (video above and profile below), Greg Hostetler has returned to the scene of his more than 640 victories as a coach at Astronaut High School.
Hostetler will once again take the reins of the Lady War Eagle basketball program as former girls basketball head coach Chris Clarke takes the helm of the boys’ team.
Hostetler compiled a record of 642-263 at Astronaut before retiring from coaching after the 2009-2010 season and helped improve the sport by serving on the Florida High School Activities Association Basketball Advisory Committee for three years. Hostetler also served as state chairman of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association for six years.
GREGG HOSTETLER – 2013 INDUCTEE
• Three State Basketball Titles
• Six Final Four Appearances
• FHSAA, FACA Hall of Fame
ANIMATED & INTERESTING
When opposing coaches scheduled a game against Astronaut High School’s girls’ basketball team, they knew to expect two things from the matchup. The first was that they would be facing an extremely well coached team by Gregg Hostetler that was prepared to give them all they could handle.
The second was a sideline sideshow like no other that featured an animated Coach Hostetler waving his arms, frantically pacing up and down, shouting out instructions and directing his team in a constant flurry of motion as he coached his War Eagles squad. Over the years, the animated Hostetler became almost as interesting for fans to watch and worth the price of admission as the consistently stellar performance of his multi-championship teams.
INCREDIBLE 642-263 RECORD
Hostetler grew up in Goshen, Ind. and played basketball at Jefferson High School in the late 1960s before choosing a career in education and earning his degree at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. The basketball knowledge and game tactician skills he acquired while playing for the Jefferson Tigers, first under Coach Wayne Lambright and later Coach Jim Galt, proved to be invaluable down the road.
Those coaches instilled in him a respect for the game and to play hard at all times, but to enjoy each season and savor moments in time along the way.
When Hostetler subsequently entered the coaching ranks in Florida, the Title IX decision in the early 1970s had created a level playing field and provided equal opportunities for girls nationally to compete in high school athletics.
Hostetler took full advantage of that when he agreed to coach the Astronaut War Eagles girls’ basketball program in Titusville in the fall of 1977. He spent a total of 32 seasons prowling the sidelines at the school and, in the process, taught the finer points of basketball and imparted lessons about how to win to generations of young women.
Along the way, Hostetler’s teams racked up 16 district titles and earned state championships for the program in 1991, 2006 and 2009, and another of his teams finished the season as state runner up in 2000. During his career of leading the War Eagles, Hostetler’s teams reached the state Final Four a total of six times.
Reflecting back on his Hall of Fame career, Hostetler will tell you that, despite all the triumphs, the games that stand out the most for him involved his teams that were less successful and overcame long odds to win.
Specifically, a squad that had difficulty winning in district play one year, but went on to upset a state-ranked Cocoa team, or another team out of the postseason that knocked off a state-ranked Rockledge squad are particularly memorable and gratifying.
He compiled a record of 642-263 at Astronaut before retiring from coaching after the 2009-2010 season and helped improve the sport by serving on the Florida High School Activities Association Basketball Advisory Committee for three years. Hostetler also served as state chairman of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association for six years.
3-TIME HALL OF FAMER
As some of his former players moved on to compete in college, no matter how busy he was, Hostetler could always be found in the stands cheering for the young women he once coached and offering them support and encouragement.
Hostetler captured honors as Cape Coast Conference Coach of the Year 12 separate times and was singled out as the Florida Dairy Farmers Girls Basketball Coach of the Year in 2006.
Also in 2006, the Florida Athletic Coaches Association paid tribute to his work by inducting Hostetler into the FACA Hall of Fame.
In 2010 he was inducted into the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches Court of Legends and in 2011, he was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
And now, we welcome Greg Hostetler, a tireless proponent of increased participation of girls in athletics, one of the most successful coaches in the history of Florida high school basketball and a man who has shown the way for hundreds of young women to seize the opportunity to excel both on the court and in life, to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 10 with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. – and dinner and ceremony at 7 p.m.
FOR INFORMATION & TICKETS to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Induction dinner call 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultimedia@gmail.com