Ingle was at the school as part of a fundraiser for the Creekview athletic department. It ended a long day in Cherokee County, which began with him leading his current team, Dalton State, to a win at Reinhardt.
Ingle shared his story of overcoming obstacles to fulfill his dreams. He captured the crowd’s attention with stories of playing basketball in tennis shoes he found in a dumpster, and later playing for a national title and suffering a career-changing knee injury.
“If you love something enough, you’ll go out and get enough knowledge to be good at it,” said Ingle, a native of Dalton whose seen his career come full circle with his life with his latest coaching stop. “Dream. Whatever anybody tells you doesn’t matter. Go out and dream.”
Ingle referenced his coaching stops at BYU and Kennesaw State, as well as his three coach of the year awards as he encouraged the athletes and parents to value what they have. He also talked about his first experience coaching boys basketball at Cherokee High School, where the girls team had won four state titles, but the boys didn’t have one upon Ingle’s arrival.
In 1982, three years after Ingle’s arrival in Canton, he led the Cherokee boys to the state championship. A quarter-century later, he was inducted into the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame, which sought to honor Ingle’s professional beginnings.
From Cherokee, Ingle went on to a well-traveled career in coach, highlighted by a long tenure at Kennesaw State, a program he led to an NCAA Division II national championship before leading its rise to Division I.
After his tenure at Kennesaw State ended in 2011, he soon found himself with a new challenge of starting a program from the ground up. He’s done that at Dalton State, an NAIA program that’s currently in the middle of an improbable 21-2 start.
After speaking Saturday night, Ingle signed autographs and posed for photos after sharing the stories of his life.
In addition to Ingle’s appearance at Creekview, those gathered were also given the opportunity to bid on a variety of items in a silent auction with the proceeds benefiting the school.
Creekview softball coach Chance Cain, who organized the event, called it a success. He would like to see it become an annual event, with different speakers coming in.
“For the first year, it was good,” Cain said. “We had 150 to 200 people. Hopefully, it will grow in the future. It was just a good message to hear, for not only the student-athletes here at Creekview, but for anyone in the county. I thought it was good. Coach Ingle did a great job and has a good story to tell.”