CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Coach Bill McClanahan, who has made Charleston Catholic’s basketball team a state tournament fixture while winning three championships, plans to retire at season’s end.
“You know when you know,” said McClanahan, who has served as the Irish’s head coach since 2002. “I had some apprehension starting this year with my energy level, and about a month into it, I knew I just didn’t have what I needed to drive myself beyond this year.
“I don’t think it’s fair to hold the players to a higher standard than I hold myself. if I demand a 100 percent from them and full commitment from them, I need to be able to give that myself.”
McClanahan, who began with the Irish as an assistant in 2000, has enjoyed tremendous success taking over as head coach: His teams have reached the state tournament 10 times, advanced to the championship eight times and won state titles in 2006, 2007 and 2012.
Catholic also won its first boys basketball championship when McClanahan was an assistant in 2000.
“Getting a state championship is just an unbelievable feeling and you never take it for granted,” he said. “To have the continued success that we’ve had, it’s been an incredible ride.
“The wins and losses, you lose track of them at times, but the impact you have and relationships you have with people and your players (is special),” he continued. “Those memories and those relationships are the biggest source of pride – that outweighs any win that I could have.”
Charleston Catholic entered this week with a 14-6 record, looking to send McClanahan out on top with another postseason run.
“It’ll be an emotional run, but it will not be a distraction,” McClanahan said. “I will give them every ounce of energy that I have left, and I expect the same for them. We know this will be our last at-bat together, and we’re going to swing and give it everything that we have.”