CSS Hall of Fame Basketball Coaches
by Anslee Wolfe
CSS coaches Vicki Vaughan and Cathy “Bos” Boswell were recently inducted into separate Hall of Fames for basketball at their respective high schools. Although they were playing in two different states (Indiana and Illinois), they both were Lady Tigers and both still hold several school records that have yet to be broken.
Vaughan, who is also the CSS Athletic Director, was inducted in January to the Lincoln College Hall of Fame in Illinois for her seven-year basketball coaching stint from 1991 to 1998. Her Lincoln teams were ranked among some of the top JUCO programs nationwide. This month, she was inducted to the Hall of Fame at Lawrenceburg High School, which she attended in Indiana for her basketball career from 1977 to 1981. Vaughan was also inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
Boswell was inducted in March to the Hall of Fame at Joliet West High School, which she attended in Illinois for the 1978 State Championship basketball team on which she played. The entire city of Joliet held a celebration and parade for the team, something that has not been repeated since.
In college, Vaughan and Boswell were basketball teammates at Illinois State University where they helped the Redbirds to several Missouri Valley Conference championships. Their friendship has stayed intact over the years, and they now enjoy passing on what they’ve learned through the years to the CSS Kodiaks.
“I honestly think that coaching has to be the best profession in the world,” Vaughan said. “It’s so rewarding and absolutely nourishes my soul. Coaching at CSS for the past 18 years has offered me so many wonderful connections with young people, and I’ll always cherish these relationships throughout my lifetime, wherever I may be.”
Vaughan’s background includes coaching collegiate basketball at the United States Air Force Academy and internationally in Ireland. The most recent induction for her basketball career in which she played an All-State guard in high school is a time in her life that remains vivid.
“It takes me back to my days growing up in Indiana and shooting hoops, always dreaming of a trip to the state tournament. Our team was ranked No. 3 in the entire state my senior year, and we fell short of our dream in a disappointing loss I can never forget, even though I’d sometimes like to,” she said.
“Deep down I know that it is from this experience of falling short of my dream to go to state that helps to drive me now as a coach and athletic director at CSS. More than anything, I want this experience for all our teams, both boys and girls.”
All-Conference forward Whitney R. ’21 has been coached by Vaughan in basketball for seven years at CSS. “Coach Vaughan’s hard work, commitment to the team, and passion for the game all rub off on the players,” Whitney said. “Her coaching skills have taught us to be better players and people and have led us to be one of the most successful girls’ basketball teams in school history.”
This past season, the girls varsity basketball team was the first in CSS history to advance to the District Finals Championship Game, where they faced a 26-33 upset against Simla.
Boswell joined the CSS coaching staff in 2018 as an assistant coach for basketball and soccer. She had made guest appearances at CSS summer camps and open gyms for several years. Her background includes international experience as a player and coach for 30 years, professional basketball, and an Olympic gold medal for Team USA in 1984, a first for women’s basketball.
The Joliet West Lady Tigers, the high school team she was recently recognized for, holds the best three-year record of 75-7 in the school’s history. Bos is still recognized as one of the premier basketball players to come out of the state of Illinois. Boswell was also inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference and Illinois State University Hall of Fames.
“It was such an honor. This time will always remain very, very special in my heart,” said Boswell, who played All-State guard. “At the time, we didn’t know what we had done. We just knew we loved basketball and had great coaches.”
She shares her experiences with the Kodiaks. “I try to help every one of them find their passion, find their paths,” she said. “Passing that on has been very fulfilling to me.”
Boswell, who is fluent in five languages, did more than coach international student Jorge M. ’21 when he came from Spain to attend CSS at the beginning of this school year.
“My English was not perfect, and it was hard when I arrived, especially the first week. Coach Boswell spoke Spanish with me, and I would talk with her a lot. She stayed close with me all through soccer,” he said. “This was my first year playing basketball, and Coach Boswell helped me so much with techniques, passing the ball and defense.”
We applaud both Boswell and Vaughan for this well-deserved recognition and know that they will continue to inspire a new generation of athletes.