Rich grew up in Hammond, Indiana, and attended Hammond High School from 1971 until 1975. Recently, he was inducted into the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame. At Hammond he made the All-Sectional team, All-Region team, and Indiana Lake Shore All-Star Team for each of his last three years in high school. In his junior year, he was also named to the Bloomington Daily Herald All-State Team. During his senior year, he was named as a Prep 100 All American Team member, Parade All-American Team member, First team Indiana All-State Team and a member of the Indiana/Kentucky All-Star team. After graduation, he played on an AAU Team that toured Europe where he averaged 16.9 points per game. As you can imagine, Val had many college scholarship offers and decided to accept the offer from Indiana University. During the 1975-76 season, he played on Bobby Knights undefeated National Championship team. Rich played in 29 of the 32 games during that year and played in 19 games the following year at Indiana. Before the start of the 1977-78 season, Rich transferred to Auburn University and was red shirted during this year. Rich played the next two years at Auburn University for Coach Sonny Smith. During this time, he was a Team Captain, Big Sun Tournament MVP and the winner of the Paul Lambert Memorial Award for Leadership for two straight years. After 17 games into his senior year, he was forced to retire from basketball for that year due to an injury. Coach Sonny Smith always talks about Val as being one of his favorite all time players. Rich came to Huntsville in the spring of 1981 to fill a temporary position at Grissom for the second semester. In the fall of 1981 he was hired at Johnson as the Assistant Boys Basketball coach and stayed there for four years. In 1985, he moved to Huntsville High to become the Head Basketball Coach and was in that position for 15 years. During his tenure at Huntsville High, his teams won a total of 203 games and 2 city championships. Coach Val always said that his parents taught him to be aggressive and give 110%.