CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. - Dr. (Coach) John Rendek, age 84, of Benton, KY and Olathe, Kansas, passed away at 8:55 pm on Monday, July 1, 2013 in the Murray-Calloway County Hospital.
Coach Rendek was born October 9, 1928 in Brehy, Czechoslovakia and immigrated through Ellis Island with his family to Gary, Indiana in 1937 where he emerged as a standout basketball player at Froebel High School. After high school, Coach Rendek joined the United States Army and served his country in the Korean Conflict.
He graduated in 1955 from Austin Peay State University, where he was a star player and captain of the Men's Varsity Basketball Team.
Following college, Coach Rendek married his beloved sweetheart and Clarksville, TN native, Shirley Ann Drinkard (1934 - 2004) in 1956 and then embarked on a successful teaching and coaching career as the head basketball coach of some of Ky's most prestigious high school basketball programs, including Crofton, Christian County, Owensboro Catholic, and Louisville Male, compiling a 12 year Ky high school coaching record of 267 - 65. During this time, John and Shirley's two sons, Steve and Tom, were born and their lifetime friendship with Bobby and Gayle Rogers of Murray, KY was formed.
For his many accomplishments and contributions to both the game and community, Coach Rendek was elected into the Ky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame, Christian County High School Sports Hall of Fame, was named Pepsi - "Prep Coach of the Year", was appointed as a Head Coach in the 1968 Prestigious Dapper Dan Roundball Classic in Pittsburg, PA and was a multiple "Honorary Ky Colonel" recipient.
In 1968, Coach Rendek became the assistant men's basketball coach at the University of Tulsa. During his college coaching career, in addition to earning his Doctorate Degree, Coach Rendek and Head Coach Ken Hayes proved a formidable duo and compiled an impressive 124 - 69 record during their 7 year tenure at Tulsa, playing in the fiercely competitive Missouri Valley Conference. During this time, Coach Rendek championed Tex Winter's famous Triple Post "Triangle" offense and recruited some of the most well-known and beloved TU and MVC players ever, including Sammy High, Steve Bracy, Mike Lofstrom, Kenneth "Grasshopper" Smith, and two (2) time MVC scoring champion, Willie Billes.
After retiring from coaching in 1975, Coach Rendek moved with his family to the Kansas City area and began a twenty five (25) year career as a successful promotional merchandise advertising and distribution executive including being the Founder and President of Master Marketing and Distributing Company, Inc.
Coach Rendek was of the Catholic faith and he enjoyed boating, fishing, golfing, watching basketball, and relaxing with friends and family.
Coach Rendek was preceded in death by his parents, Steve and Rose Rendek; wife, Shirley Drinkard Rendek; brothers and sisters, Pete, Irene, and Mary.
He is survived by his sons, Steve Rendek (Jennifer), Houston, TX and Dr. Tom Rendek, Murray, KY; grandchildren, Sofia, Gabariela, Tatiana, and Alix; great granddaughter, Isabella; grandson in law, AJ; special friends, Bob and Gayle Rogers, Murray, KY.
The service will be held at 5:00 pm Wednesday at the York Funeral Home with Father Jason McClure and Mr. Bob Rogers officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm Wednesday at the funeral home.
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