Sports News

Coach of 2A top-ranked Linton-Stockton charged with OVWI in Shelbyville

A veteran Indiana boys basketball coach will not get the opportunity to lead his team in Saturday’s Southport Semistate.

Joseph G. Hart, head coach at Linton-Stockton High School, was remanded into custody of the Shelby County Jail Monday night on the charge of Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated (OVWI).

Linton-Stockton, the top-ranked team in Class 2A, is scheduled to face Parke Heritage at approximately noon Saturday in the second semifinal of the Southport Semistate.

“Linton-Stockton High School Boys Basketball Coach, Joey Hart, has been suspended indefinitely,” according to a press release by Linton Stockton Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathy Goad. “Assistant Coach Noah Hawkins will take over head coaching duties immediately and until further notice.”



This is the second suspension for Hart (photo) this season. He was suspended in January for public intoxication after being arrested by the Clay County Sheriff’s Department.

On Monday, the Shelbyville Police Department (SPD) was notified of a possible intoxicated driver on West State Road 44 nearing Shelbyville. The vehicle was observed crossing the center line and swerving.

Officers responded to the area, according to a SPD media release, and located the vehicle on W. McKay Road turning into the Clearview subdivision. The vehicle disregarded a stop sign at Swinford and Theobald streets.

Once the vehicle was stopped, officers noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside the car. It also was noted there was a restaurant style cup in a cup holder with no lid. The liquid inside the cup smelled like beer.

At that time, Hart was asked for his driver’s license. He fumbled his wallet while attempting to retrieve it.

Hart was asked to exit the vehicle. He had poor balance and his speech was slurred, according to the media release. He was asked where he was going and he advised Clay City.

When asked if he knew where he was, he said, “Clay City.” He was then advised he was in Shelbyville.

Hart refused to perform field sobriety tests and a Portable Breath Test. He was advised there was probable cause to believe he was operating while intoxicated and was offered to take a chemical test at the police department. Hart refused that test as well.

In 13 seasons as head coach at Linton-Stockton, Hart is 275-72 and has led the Miners to nine sectional titles and two appearances in the Class 2A state championship game – losses to Bowman Academy, 86-73, in 2013 and to Andrean, 59-54, in 2019.

In 25 years overall, Hart is 421-200.