Hanging up the varsity whistle
Shore steps back from coaching varsity basketball
It is a rare feat these days — not just in education, but especially in coaching — to see a teacher remain with the same school for 20 or more years.
Yet Chris Shore, Cassville girls basketball coach, has decided that 22 years at the helm of the Lady Wildcats is enough.
“I felt that I made a decision that was best for the program,” Shore said. “It is something that I began thinking hard about a couple of years ago. The biggest reason for me stepping down is probably the self-induced pressure. I’m just tired and believe it is time for someone else to lead the team.”
While he is stepping back from the varsity coaching position, he is not quite quitting coaching entirely.
Shore will remain the cross country coach and will assume the head coaching duties of the junior high boys and girls basketball teams.
“That allows me to help and still give back,” Shore said. “We have some talented elementary and junior high groups coming up. I just am not going to wait for them. I am at peace with my decision.”
In 22 seasons at Cassville, Shore was 300-264. Overall, the quinquagenarian finishes his basketball coaching career at 309-299. He has two years left before being able to fully retire.
“I’ve spent more time in the middle school gym than probably anyone around here,” Shore said. “When I was a kid, I used to get the night janitor to let me in and I’d turn on one set of lights to get more practice shooting. I played there as a player, taught and have coached in that gym. I’ll spend my last two years there. It is fitting.”
Shore says he will miss spending time with the older players and being able to draw up X’s and O’s, but he feels like he can still help the program.
“I love to practice and the teaching side of the game,” Shore said. “I think I can help these younger players develop and see improvement. I get to do what I love, without the pressure of the varsity level.”
When it comes to his successor, who ever it is, Shore has one piece of advice — stay.
“I want to see somebody stick it out with this program,” Shore said. “The next couple of years will be tough. It will be program building, but we have good groups coming up. I want someone to take over who will be here for the long term.”
As for his future, Shore said he got involved with horses when his son was 9 years old and coming years will be somewhere along that path.
“I’m pretty certain my days as a varsity coach are over,” Shore said. “I’ve always told myself that if I miss it, I can always get back into it, but I think I’ll be happy with my choice.”