COLMESNEIL, TX- Winning in any sport is hard, but Colmesneil girls head basketball coach Quentin Cates makes it look easy. So easy in fact, that he has 500 varsity wins under his belt.
Cates reached the impressive milestone last weekend in the championship game of their own tournament. Once the final buzzard went off, the school had reason to celebrate for a lot more than tournament titles. The 500 wins benchmark was 30 years in the making.
"I couldn't imagine it happening in any better way. It was the perfect format for that. The 500th win, honestly, was a very small part of that day and what the team accomplished," said Cates.
The 500th win came in dramatic fashion. As the No. 3 seed, Colmesneil overcame the top two seeds with total redemption.
After a 40 point loss to Brookland the night before, Colmesneil bounced back to beat Brookland 50-44 in finals for the tournament title and 500th cap.
"I can't explain that emotion," said Cates. "You're just thankful to be able to be a part of something that wonderful for the community, for the school and for those kids. That's why I do it. You want to know why I do it? For the smiles on their faces for when they're successful. That's why I've done what I've done my whole life."
Cates selfless work for the kids has never once gone unnoticed by the team. They made it a point to ensure their coach would reach the 500 milestone.
"It literally was the greatest thing ever. I'm so glad we got to experience that because he's a great coach and he deserves everything he gets," said senior basketball player Krista Harris.
"Everything he does is for the kids and I think that is what coaching's missing. I think coaches a lot of the time get wrapped up in how many wins do they have, and that wasn't the first thing he said. He said the players got him there for that 500th win," said assistant basketball coach Ashley Currington.
"He's an inspiration to us.He has a way of explaining what to do with positivity behind it," said junior basketball player McKayla Marshall. "He tells you what to do and then you're like 'I can do it.' He makes it easy and he's worked with us one-on-one with our shots. It's tremendous what he can do."
With a coaching career dating back to 1986, Cates is not one to take all the credit.
"I had great assistants and great players," said Cates. "Whatever I told them, they just took that and took it to the next level. That's really who won those games. I just got the opportunity to be there and experience it with them."
One thing Cates will own is his competitive and persistent spirit that's lasted 500 wins later.
"It's just what I am and I don't know how to think, act or be anything else. You become what you set out to be if you stay with it long enough. I couldn't see myself doing anything else," said Cates.
Cates advice for young coaches getting in the business is be the best you can be, don't make excuses, stick with it and always look on the positive side of things.
As for his coaching philosophy, Cates said, "You're either going to be better than you were yesterday or you're going to be worse. You'll never stay the same in athletics."
With 500 wins, he probably knows what he's talking about.