If the Greenwood boys basketball team was looking for some extra incentive to finish this season with a flourish, it doesn’t have to look anymore.
On Monday, Bruce Hensley let his players know that this season — his 28th as head coach of the Woodmen — is going to be his last.
With a son playing baseball at the University of Indianapolis and his first grandchild having arrived last spring, Hensley wants to be able to spend more time with his family — something almost every coach has to sacrifice to some degree.
“You give up a lot,” Hensley said of the coaching life. “So I wanted to reintroduce myself to my family. I want to spend time with them now.”
Hensley, who teaches math at Greenwood Community High School, said he plans to continue teaching through the 2017-18 school year before mulling retirement.
But from a coaching standpoint, this winter will mark the end of the road. Greenwood currently sports a record of 8-7 heading into Friday’s game against Shelbyville, and Hensley has collected 261 victories as the head coach of the Woodmen.
Though his current roster is largely dominated by juniors, Hensley decided that the timing for his exit was right.
“That was definitely something that I considered,” he said, “but I don’t want to be real selfish and say, hey, that’s the only reason you’re going to stick around is because you’ve got a chance to be really, really good. If you’ve got other things that you want to do — I just felt like it’s time.”
Telling his players, Hensley noted, was difficult because he didn’t want to feel as though he was letting them down. Nor does he want his departure to become a distraction to a group of Woodmen that still have lofty goals for the remainder of this season.
“I think a lot of the guys are super motivated for Coach,” senior Adam Rapp said. “All of the guys respect him … we’d like for him to go out on the right note.”
Once the current campaign reaches its end, Hensley will make the transition from being the coach of the Woodmen to being “their number one fan.”
“I’m going to root for those guys as hard as I can,” he said. “I love those guys, and I want to see them do well.”