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Posted October 21, 2011
A Coach's Life
Rick Wood had the good fortune to find his true calling as a high school basketball coach and the young men who played for him reaped the benefits. "40 Seasons" is an enjoyable account of a successful career both on and off the court.
Rick Wood always knew that he wanted to coach. Coach Wood grew up in Kinston, Alabama and although he wasn't quite talented enough to make his high school varsity basketball team, he admired Creigh Purnell, the Kinston High School coach, and the positive effect the coach had on his players. After graduating from Auburn University, Rick began his coaching career at Beauregard High School near Auburn, AL. Two years later he accepted an opportunity to coach at Boylan-Mather-Haven Academy, an African-American school in Camden, SC. After two years in Camden, Coach Wood spent 12 years in North Florida at Century, Allentown and Trenton High Schools. Coach Wood and his wife, Beverly, then moved to Western North Carolina which was Beverly's childhood home where he coached Tuscola High School in Haywood County, NC for five years before moving to Henderson County and Edneyville High School for two years and finally West Henderson High School for seventeen years.
"40 Seasons" chronicles each of Coach Wood's teams with key games discussed, but along with point totals, rebounds and assists for the regulars, Coach Wood tells about the players who may not have contributed a great deal during games, but who practiced hard and provided moral support for their teammates. Few high school basketball players are talented enough to continue to play in college, but Coach Wood had many players who were very successful in their non-athletic careers and he is obviously pleased to tell their stories. Coach Wood gives his players the credit for the teams' success, downplaying his considerable coaching skills.
Coach Wood's varsity basketball teams compiled an outstanding record of 662 wins against only 388 losses, but he uses only half a page in the appendix of "40 Seasons" to list his accomplishments, while the names of every player and every assistant coach on every team he coached fills the next eight pages.
Anyone interested in high school basketball and the relationships between a coach and his players will thoroughly enjoy "40 Seasons".
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