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Tough Decision

I mentioned to some that I was on the fence about returning. And after a little break. I made the decision. I recently stepped down at St. John Neumann. Look. I had a great run. But it is now time to focus on far more important things.

Many folks will question, and I totally get it. Believe me. This was a tough call. I went back and forth for weeks. I have been coaching basketball for a very long time. I weighed all my options. The pros and cons. Yes. I will surely miss it. But the boys and I had an unforgettable season. We accomplished so much and made it all the way to the state final. The praise and support were off the charts. It was very special, and I wanted to end things on my terms. I truly believe I made the right choice.

Several factors were at hand. Balancing life with a hobby is now a challenge. Work is super busy, and I am not as flexible. I am getting older, and I do not have the same motivation. I am only being honest. I missed a great deal of my son’s games this year. That was particularly hard. My family sacrifices so much already. I owe them tons.

Coaching is never easy. Especially today. It is very tricky. Everyone’s an expert, and they have all the answers. There is a lot more to it than just showing up to practice — way too many outside influences. I spent more time dealing with the drama instead of actually coaching. Unfortunately, that is the new culture. It is trending.

I started this gig back when I was in college. I always enjoyed the game, and this became a new passion. I have been fortunate to coach hoops at many different levels. Some teams were much better than others. But I loved every stop in my tenure. I had over 20 years of service. Numerous camps and several successful seasons. That is a lot of coaching, and I can still picture all their faces. Over 120 career wins and tons of pub. Individual accolades and many team awards. My scrapbook is full. I don’t need any more pages. It was fun while it lasted.

I never got into this business for the money. I loved making an impact and establishing relationships. I can’t tell you how many success stories there were. Most of these will never show up in the papers. Having these bonds is something that I will always cherish. It was all about my guys and the camaraderie. You wouldn’t believe the number of folks who reached out to me before the State Championship. It was amazing. Young and old. It did not matter. Much of the love came from my former players. It truly meant the world. It also helped with the decision.

I want to thank the ENTIRE Neumann nation. Kudos to the school, administration, and fans. I have so many fond memories from the past three seasons — two as a head coach and one as an assistant. We made history and captured some serious hardware. Three Mid Penn titles. Three District Crowns. and recently a PIAA Class A Eastern Championship. But more importantly, I made several new friends and “helped them grow both on and off the court.” That line is still TM pending.

The news leaked this past Monday. That’s what happens when you have some friends in the media. Yes. It was a very busy week in the PR department. I turned the phone off. I heard from so many great people. Several offered their thanks, and hundreds congratulated me on my decision. BREAKING NEWS. Lol. That guy is hilarious. Seriously, life is good, kids. I didn’t resign. I only told the administration that it was time. Totally my decision. Back to fishing full time and being a better family guy. But I am still on the fence about shaking hands with another politician. Dude. It is three months after the season. Feel free to call or scribe if you have any questions. I have another press conference tomorrow at Wegmans. I will also stay involved with the local hoops scene through my writings here in Webb Weekly. Cheers.