Egan heading further north to coach

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Purdy coach Tommy Egan has stepped down to take the head coaching job at Skyline High School. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Purdy hoops coach makes toughest call ever

If anyone wondered what type of a basketball coach Tommy Egan is and what his players thought about him, they need not look any further than two years ago.

Playing McAuley in a district title game, Egan’s Eagles blitzed the higher seeded Warriors, a team that had defeated Purdy not more than 10 days earlier.

With a 20-point lead the majority of the second half, Egan began subbing his starters to allow them to receive a warm reception from the large and enthusiastic sea of black and gold clad fans.

Once on the bench, Egan went to each and every player embracing them and sharing words of congratulations, thanks and encouragement that only they were privy to.

Because of that tight bond with his players, the decision to leave the district became excruciating.

“That team specifically was a lot of fun to coach,” Egan said. “They typified Purdy athletics. We didn’t have a super star, just players that busted their tails on the floor and found ways to win games. They were all heart.”

Egan has informed his players and the district that he has accepted the head coaching position at Skyline for the 2017-2018 school year.

“This was a chance for me and my wife to move closer to our families,” Egan said. “It will also allow my wife to only commute 10 minutes to work instead of 40. It was an extremely tough decision, but one I had to make for my family.”

During Egan’s seven seasons at Purdy, the Eagles won 62 percent of their games (117-72) including one district title. Purdy never finished below .500 with Egan at the helm.

“Purdy is full of great kids,” Egan said. “All my players gave me everything they had. I believe that if I asked them to run through a wall, they would do it.”

Egan is not sure if he can replicate his success at Skyline, but he says he will do his best.

“I think I will have better athletes in terms of stronger kids at Skyline,” Egan said. “But, I’m not sure I’ll have kids as dedicated to basketball as they are at Purdy. I feel like I am leaving the program better than when I got there. That team that won the district title and got to the quarterfinals will always have a special place in my heart.”

Egan said he does not consider himself an old coach, but there is an experience that he will miss at Purdy.

“It’s kind of neat when you have been at a place long enough that you have 24- or 25-year-old guys that you used to coach come back just to talk to you,” Egan said. “I can’t say enough about the students, administration, parents and the opportunity I was given at Purdy. My family and I will miss it for sure.”

Jeremy Dresslaer has been hired to replace Egan as the next Eagles head coach.

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