Legacy lives on: Volleyball coach inducted into athletic hall of fame

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Volleyball was John Armuth’s life.

From coaching at the high school and club levels to doing photography and video at games and practices, Armuth stayed involved with the sport.

Sadly, Armuth died in an automobile accident in March 2011.

Jennifer Shade wanted to be sure his legacy lived on, so she nominated Armuth for the Brownstown Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame. At a home volleyball game this past week, Shade presented Armuth’s siblings, Wayne Armuth and Lorene Bradley, with a plaque naming him one of the 2012 inductees.

“For him to be selected and for me to be able to hand that to (his siblings), it was an honor,” Shade said. “I got my one last moment to think of him because I have walked into a lot of games teary-eyed thinking he sat right over there, or he would have been right there.”

Armuth’s siblings also felt his influence.

“It’s quite an honor for us to know that he reached so many people,” Bradley said. “We always saw him as a brother, and at the funeral and since then, we have learned so much about how many kids’ lives he has affected. It really means a lot to us.”

Wayne Armuth said, “It just surprised me how much the people here in Brownstown love him. I just never realized he had that much of an impact on this community and all the people that he knew over the years.”

Armuth grew up in Columbus, and early on, volleyball was in the family.

“We started playing it back 30 years ago in parks and recreation,” Bradley said. “(John) just always was enthused with playing it. He loved playing it as well as getting into coaching it.”

Armuth graduated from Columbus High School in 1969 before heading to Purdue University. Shortly after graduating from college, he picked up photography.

“He did that out of college in the summertime,” Bradley said. “He went up to a racetrack in Indianapolis on Friday night and took pictures and spent all day Saturday developing them, and then reselling them on Saturday night there.”

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