Winningest High School Basketball Coach Retires After Five-Plus Decades
With 1,416 career victories to her name, Leta Andrews, the winningest head coach in high school basketball history, retired last month after 52 years of coaching, according to The Associated Press.
Andrews, 76, has been serving as the head coach of the girls' basketball team at Granbury High School in Granbury, Texas, since 1992, according to The New York Times. She broke the record for most wins by a high school basketball coach (either boys' or girls') back on December 7, 2010, with her 1,334th career victory. (Robert Hughes, who coached in nearby Fort Worth, Texas, previously held the record for most victories at the high school basketball level.)
Before her time with Granbury, Andrews led the girls' basketball squads at Gustine High School in Gustine, Texas, Comanche High School in Comanche, Texas, and Calallen High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. Over her illustrious career, she took her teams to 16 state final fours and won a state championship with Calallen in 1990.
Andrews is already a member of both the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007, three years before breaking Hughes' record, the National High School Coaches Association named her the national girls' basketball coach of the year. She was also named the inaugural winner of the Morgan Wootten Lifetime Achievement Award for girls' high school basketball.
How did she know that this year was the right time to step away from the game for good? John Wooden, the legendary coach who guided the University of California, Los Angeles to 10 NCAA championships, told her, "You'll stay with it as long as you have passion for it," according to The Dallas Morning News. "One day, you'll know."
One day in early January, she knew, according to the Morning News. And thus, with the all-time wins record well in hand, Andrews will head into the fall without a basketball team to guide for the first time in 53 years.
"Anybody can coach Xs and Os," she told the AP. "It's about love and a passion to work."
May we all find a similar passion one day.
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