Gene Keady and Leroy Keyes have shared a lot of stories and laughs through the years, primarily on the golf course.
For the first time they will share a stage together to tell those stories at Carmel High School. The school’s athletics department will host “An Evening with Gene Keady & Leroy Keyes” in the CHS Auditorium at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 to benefit its PTO Backpack Program, which provides food on the weekends for students who qualify through the counseling office.
Keady and Keyes will appear in a conversation moderated by Purdue football radio color commentator and ex-Purdue football standout Pete Quinn.
Keady, 83, was the Boilermakers basketball coach for 25 years, retiring in 2005.
He said what he enjoys most about these type of events are the questions from the audience.
“I try to feed off what they are interested in and see what they are thinking,” Keady said. “I don’t want to make it where I just talk.”
Keyes, 72, is regarded as one of the greatest players in the school’s football history, finishing runner-up to O.J. Simpson in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1968. Keady and Keyes are longtime friends.
“Leroy is a pretty easy guy to work with, so we’ll have some fun,” Keady said. “I talk about encouraging kids and how to have integrity. Leroy is a great motivator and very honest. He has great integrity and a great family. I haven’t done a lot of speeches with him but I play a lot of golf with him when I come home.”
Although Keady lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C., he said West Lafayette always will be home as well. Keady is a frequent visitor to both Purdue football and basketball games. His former player, Matt Painter, has been the coach since he retired.
“I love watching football, and I love watching Matt coach,” Keady said. “I just enjoy being around Purdue people. I try to stay out of the way and not ask dumb questions and just enjoy the atmosphere. One of the advantages of being at Purdue is the crowds we always had. We had one of the best home court atmospheres in the Big Ten.”