Paul Beranek honored with Wooden Legacy Award, family receives award in Ravenna
RAVENNA, Neb. — The Nebraska high school basketball community is taking time to remember and recognize one of its legends.
The Nebraska Basketball Coaches Association honored the late Paul Beranek with the John Wooden Legacy Award on Friday night. Beranek’s family received the award at the Ravenna vs. Wood River basketball games.
The honor is part of a national program started two years ago that recognizes coaches who excelled as basketball coaches and as educators in the classroom. Association members nominated Beranek and a selection committee voted him as this year’s boys basketball winner.
Beranek compiled 448 wins over his coaching career at Ravenna High School. He led the Bluejays to nine state tournament appearances, four state championships, two undefeated seasons, one state runner-up finish and two third place finishes. His three sons — Drake, Connor, and Riley — all played for him. Drake is now the head boys basketball coach at Kearney High, Connor is one of Drake’s assistants and Riley teaches in Omaha.
Beranek died from cancer in 2015. He was 55 years old.
“To be able to have his legacy and impact on others still with us today is something that’s a pretty cool deal,” Drake Beranek said.
Locals from Ravenna and Wood River stayed in their seats between the girls and boys games to see the award presentation.
“I have goosebumps right now just talking about it,” NBCA President Jeff Droge said. “The pride in the community, the school, and a lot of that goes towards coach Paul Beranek.”
Randy Carpenter of Lexington won the girls basketball Wooden Legacy Award.