Hall Of Fame Coach Ray Vencill Passes Away


Former Madison High Head Coach Ray Vencill passed away Friday afternoon at the age of 83. Coach Vencill led Madison High to the State Championship game in 1970 where the Purples fell to Male 70-69. Coach Vencill was a three time Kentucky Coach Of The Year and was elected in the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. 

Ray Vencill graduated from Eastern Kentucky where he played basketball and took over the Madison High program in 1963 and remain in Richmond for eight seasons winning 141 games and advancing to a Sweet Sixteen Final. His overall record with Madison High was 141-53.

Ray was from Elizabethtown and he returned home in 1971 to coach his Alma Mater for eight season from 1971 to 1978. While Head Coach of the Panthers he would go to the Sweet Sixteen three more times, 1972, 1975, and 1978. His team in ’72 team lost in the championship game to Owensboro 71-63. He would retire from coaching after the 1978 season and became principal at Helmwood Heights Elementary School before retiring in 1992.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the worship center of Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethown. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Ray A. Vencill, Jr. 83, of Elizabethtown, went to be with Jesus Friday, June 28, 2019. He passed at his home surrounded by family. Ray was born in Russellville, KY and moved to Elizabethtown in 1952. He graduated from Elizabethtown High School in 1954 and graduated from Eastern Kentucky University, where he played basketball and earned his Rank I Degree. 

Ray taught and coached basketball eight years at Madison High School in Richmond and accepted a teaching/basketball coaching job at Elizabethtown High School, where he coached eight years, then served as principal at Helmwood Heights Elementary School until his retirement in 1992. 

Coach was a three time Kentucky High School Basketball Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. 

Ray proudly served his country as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and as a Captain in the Reserves. He was an avid fisherman, golfer and a proud member of Severns Valley Baptist Church. 

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Estelle Vencill. He is survived by his wife of sixty one years, Betty Correll Vencill; children, Vicky Stewart (Joe) of Elizabethtown and Patti Antone (Ralph) of Louisville; grandchildren, Summer Langley (Drew), Taylor Donahue (Ryan), Chandler and Jack Antone; great grandchildren, Cash, Stella, Hadley, Eliza Kate, Anne-Vencill and Livy Clark; siblings, Larry Vencill (Sylvia) and Gary Vencill all of Richmond and Pat Durbin (Hade) of Elizabethtown. 

Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday followed by a “Celebration of Ray’s Life” starting at 3 p.m. in the worship center of Severns Valley Baptist Church with Pastor Bill Langley officiating. Burial will follow in Elizabethtown City Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his memory to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105-3678 or Elizabethtown High School Boys Basketball Program, 620 North Mulberry Street, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, Severns Valley Baptist Church Building Fund, 1100 Ring Road, Elizabethtown, KY 42701 or Hosparus of Central Kentucky, P.O. BOX 2149, Elizabethtown, KY 42702. Condolences may be expressed online at www.brownfuneral.com.