After one, winning season that turned the Nacogdoches basketball program around, head coach Gary Hall announced Tuesday he will not return to coach at the high school in a letter he wrote to KTRE. Hall took the Dragons from a one-win district season, to district champions the following year.
Hall originally submitted a letter of resignation in early April when he was told he had to coach two sports. According to Hall’s contract, there was no stipulation in writing that said he would have to coach two sports.
According to Athletic Director Farshid Niroumand, Hall asked if he could stop coaching cross country so that he could spend more time with his new grandchild. After the administration denied his request, Hall wrote his letter of resignation.
Hall later rescinded his letter of resignation, but Nacogdoches ISD opened the position for other applicants and have scheduled interviews to take the job. The new head basketball coach will be required to coach two sports. A new head basketball coach has not been announced at this time.
In a personal letter Hall wrote to KTRE, his entire statement is listed below:
“I would like to thank the entire Nacogdoches Dragon family for affording me the remarkable opportunity of serving as your head coach of the boys’ basketball team. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the school district, its student athletes and the Nacogdoches community. I am supremely proud of my players and coaches and all they have accomplished in the classroom, on the court and in the community. I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Grey Burton and Farshid Niroumand for giving me this opportunity and for their unwavering support. Although my tenure was brief, it will be forever memorable.
Thank you to the entire Dragon Nation for your love and support-you are truly some of the best fans in all of Texas. I will miss Nacogdoches. I have grown to love the city and believe the true residents of Nacogdoches are among the finest people I have met. You deserve a school and athletic program you can be proud of. I hope the Boys’ basketball team provided you with many great memories and a team you were happy to call your own.
I would like to thank the parents, fans and alumni. You embraced me, my players and my team. You are Dragon Nation. I am honored by your devotion, enthusiasm and never ending support of the team and its players. I will always treasure your good-will, support and dedication to Dragon basketball. I will miss all of you.
To my assistant coaches, team managers, trainers, and faculty-thank you for your dedication and commitment to my program and my players. You have worked tirelessly to represent Nacogdoches High School with integrity and honor-be proud of our accomplishments for there were many. Together we brought the school and community its first basketball championship in eleven years and I will always cherish that. More importantly, you worked diligently to assure the academic success and maturation of the student athletes under your care-for that, I am forever grateful.
Last but not least, I would like to thank my players. Each one of you has taught me something valuable about the game of basketball, and more importantly about life. Each one of you has not only made me a better coach, but a better person. Each one of you has created a lasting impression on me. Each one of you matters. Each one of you is important. Each one of you has been a blessing in my life.
Coaching basketball at Nacogdoches High School went far beyond the court. It gave me an opportunity to positively influence the development of our student athletes and help them become productive members of society. I do not coach simply to win games. For many, that may be fulfilling but players will not learn much and relationships will be shallow. My ultimate goal in coaching is to teach the young men under my care what it takes to succeed in life. That is a win-win for everyone.
I coach because of the impact I can have on young people’s lives. Valuable life lessons about the importance of hard work, discipline, teamwork, the ability to overcome adversity and handle success are at the core of my coaching philosophy. I was hopeful I would be able to continue to help the boys at Nacogdoches High School become men of integrity who are responsible, care about their teammates, and help others around them. I believe we made significant strides in those areas this year and it was my hope to return to sustain their continued transformation.
In a society that teaches our young people about entitlement and ego, it is my hope that I can reverse the trend and teach about humility and earning your keep. It is my job to love the players that I coach and to prepare them for a world where things don’t always go their way. It was my desire to be the basketball coach at Nacogdoches High School and continue to have a positive impact on the lives of my players.
The relationship I have with my players is based on mutual trust and respect, hard work, loyalty and a commitment to excellence. These relationships will last a lifetime. Although I am not returning as the basketball coach at Nacogdoches High School, the bond we have developed will continue to endure. It is my hope that you will honor our relationship by giving your new coach a chance. Show him the same respect you showed me.
You have made me laugh. You have made me cry. You have made me happy. You have made me frustrated at times. But mostly, you made me proud. I love you.
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