Walt Raines is in his 27th season as head coach of the Franklin Community High School girls basketball team. He also is the dean of students and athletics director at Franklin Community Middle School.
What do you enjoy about coaching? What keeps you enthused?
The kids. Working with them on a daily basis to improve as individuals and, more importantly, as a team. With each success, you strive to maintain the success.
With each setback, you are driven to help the team improve and reach their potential as players and people.
How tough is it to balance everything, from work to coaching to family?
It can be very, very tough. The number of your own kids’ events that you miss, and my case, the grandkids’ events, is hard. You try not to take the events of the day to practice. With my dual role at the middle school as the dean in charge of discipline as well as athletics director, that can be very difficult.
But what I find is, 90 percent of the time (coaching) will take my mind off the events of the day. Much is determined by the kids you have. I am very fortunate to have great, hardworking kids who are just fun to be around.
Are there times when you ask yourself, enough is enough?
I think every job you have those times. Coaching is no different. My tank is not empty yet. I still have the passion and competitive fire to keep going, even though I have been told I have mellowed a lot over the years.
When it is time (to retire), I will know it’s time. That is still a few years down the road.