MT. PULASKI, Illinois (SmallTownPapers) -- Vergil H. Fletcher, 93, of Collins-ville, born July 1, 1915, died Tuesday, June 30,2009, at Anderson Hospital, Maryville.

Coach Fletcher retired after 32 years as head basketball coach from Collinsville High School where he won the state title in both 1961 and 1965. He, as Illinois National High School Coach of the year in 1972, was picked as one of the greatest high school coaches of the century. He was a member of the American Legion Post 365 in Collinsville, Collinsville Noontime Lions Club, 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, and Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Collinsville. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the U.S. Army.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Etta, nee Logan, Fletcher; a brother, Cecil; and sisters, Helen Baker, Audra Brown, and Rose Mitchell.

Surviving are his wife, Violet, nee Foli, Fletcher whom he married on June 9,1938; daughters, Marietta (Dr. Marion) Thompson of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Dr. Marlene (Dr. Joseph) Rotter of Charleston, South Carolina, Marcia Yates of Charleston, South Carolina, and Marian (Bruce) Evans of Charleston, South Carolina; sons, Mike (Margie) Fletcher of Memphis, Tennessee, and Marc (Joan) Fletcher of Naples, Florida; sisters, Marian Mauzy of Johnston City, and Ruby Kay Vozarth of Murphysboro; a brother, Jack Fletcher of Marion; 13 grandchildren; and 13 greatgrandchildren.

Vergil Fletcher coached for short stints at Mt. Pulaski (1941-1942) and Pana before heading to Collinsville in 1946 via the armed service. The Kahoks' fourth coach in four seasons, he remained 32 years, winning 747 games and losing only 170 (.815). His career coaching mark is 790-234. Fletcher took a record 14 teams to state, winning two championships. His first was with a 32-0 hall of fame unit in 1961. Fouryears later, the Kahoks finished their title drive with a mark of 30-2. Fletcher fashioned 20-game winners in all but five of his seasons at Collinsville. and four of his tournament entries (1957-61-64-77AA) made state with unblemished records.

No one has coached in more state tournament games (34) or won more state tournament games (21) than Fletcher.

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