A well-known girls high school basketball coach has called it quits after 26 seasons. Edwardsville High School girls coach Lori Blade announced her retirement last Friday. Blade announced her decision on Thursday with a video conference according to Riverbender and Edwardsville Athletic Director Alex Fox.
Blade, now 54, has a final coaching record of 743-92. She is eighth on the all-time list in the IHSA. Blade is the only coach in IHSA history to win 700 games in both basketball and softball. Blade spent 8 seasons with Carrollton High School from 1994-2002 going 233-27, and has spent the last 18 seasons in Edwardsville with a record of 510-65. Blade won back-to-back titles with Carrollton in Class A in 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. From 1997-2002, she coached 5 straight regional titles for the Lady Hawks.
She turned around an ailing Edwardsville squad after her first season, which went 11-14, and has gone on to win 17 straight regional titles in 4A including 17 straight 20 win seasons. However, she has never won a state title with Edwardsville, with two 2nd place finishes in 2011 and 2016.
Blade is planning on continuing as softball coach and teacher with Edwardsville High. Fox says a successor to the Edwardsville program will be named in the near term.