CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston Catholic boys basketball coach Bill McClanahan has achieved a great deal of success, turning the Irish into one of the premier programs in the state.
Every sucessful run inevitably comes to its end, however, and the veteran coach recently told his players the 2013-14 season will be his last on the bench.
"I still have a great deal of passion for the game but I just don't have the fire to coach the players the way they deserve," McClanahan said. "There is a saying that says you know when you know, and I knew."
Catholic has been to the state tournament the past nine seasons, and won three Class A state titles under McClanahan in 2006, 2007, and most recently in 2012.
Also, McClanahan was voted one of the 100 greatest high school coaches of the West Virginia boys basketball state tournament last year by the Charleston Daily Mail in 2013, and is two wins away from tying the Catholic school record for most career wins, currently held by Mickey McDade with 265.
McClanahan said he has known for a while that the time to hang it up might be soon.
"It's been a decision that has been coming," McClanahan said. "It wasn't an overnight decision or an emotional reaction. Mrs. Sullivan (Charleston Catholic principal) does an evaluation every year and after last year, I knew it would be interesting to see how the season went. There wasn't any particular single event but I knew about a month in."
McClanahan informed the team over the weekend.
"I told the seniors Saturday morning at breakfast," McClanahan said. "Then we had a team meeting at noon, where I told everyone else. It was hard. It was ok with the seniors because they are leaving and I'll be going out with them. It was extremely hard for the underclassmen."
McClanahan is going out with a senior-laden team in hopes of possibly winning one more state title. Included in that senior group are two of the top players in Class A in Nick George (19.6 points per game) and Garret McCarty (18.8 ppg).
The team is 14-6 entering the final week of the regular season.
With all the success Catholic has had over the years, McClanahan is proud to be leaving what is sure to be a long-lasting legacy to the program.
"It is humbling and quite an honor but at the same time, it's a reflection of the great coaches and people that has been around and players," McClanahan said. "There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, and I'm just one of them.