After 26 years of being “Coach,” Keystone’s Scott Terry is ready for a new job title closer to his heart.
Terry, who has coached the Wildcats’ girls basketball team the past 21 years, will retire after this season.
“There was more than one factor in my decision,” said Terry, who was also a boys assistant coach for four years and a girls middle school coach for one. “I guess what finally did it for me … I’ve got grandkids coming up who are getting old enough to play. I’ve got a fourth-grader and a second-grader starting to play some organized ball and I was missing a lot of opportunities to see them play because they usually play on Saturdays. I want to be able to spend some more time with the family and the grandkids.”
Terry has a 337-142 career record heading into Wednesday’s sectional opener against Columbia. His teams won district titles in 2001,’02 and ’11 and captured 12 league titles, nine in the Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division and three in the Lorain County Conference, but seeing his former players file into Keystone’s gym last Wednesday to celebrate his final regular-season home game reminded him of what was really important.
“Watching them come in holding their kids’ hands or carrying their kids really put it into perspective for me,” he said.
“I had the opportunity to be a small part of their lives. To watch them grow up and be the kind of individuals they’ve become is something that gives me the greatest sense of pride. Watching these girls grow up from their high school years to become members of the community and eventually have families of their own has really been a neat experience and great opportunity for me.”
Terry said he had pretty much made up his mind prior to the season that it would be his final one and that his players have known of his decision for much of the year. He kept it private for as long as possible so that he would be able to tell his fellow coaches and others of his retirement personally and not have them hear it from a third party.
“Wednesday night was an emotional night,” Terry said. “You dedicated a lot of time over the years, a lot of nights in the gym and then you realize it’s the final regular-season game you’ll ever be coaching, and to have everyone there from family to alumni to fans, it was pretty neat stuff. It was pretty emotional.”
Terry, who has had only two losing seasons in is career, said the biggest change he has seen since he start coaching is that more student-athletes are specializing in one sport at a younger age, meaning there are fewer girls playing multiple sports.
While Terry is closing one chapter of his life he’s not slamming the door on the notion of one day returning to the bench.
“Only time will tell,” Terry said. “I will never get away from the game completely. I’m gonna take some enjoyment in sneaking the grandkids in the gym and working with them. I’ve got a second-grade granddaughter I need to work on her shot with her. So I may continue coaching but probably not on a large scale.”