Duke coach reaches 900 career wins

Duke coach reaches 900 career wins

DUKE, Okla. (TNN) -A coach from Duke High School is now only one of three girls high school basketball coaches in state history to reach 900 career wins.

42 years of coaching basketball at 11 different schools....and 7 state championships for Coach Rick Wilson.

He’s been at Duke for 5 years, and Monday night’s win, made 900 career wins for him.

“I haven’t scored a point, I haven’t got a rebound, I haven’t done anything,” said Wilson. “The players did it all. And I have the best seat in town.”

Wilson says it made him emotional seeing all the 900 signs at the game Monday night. It was a special day for everyone.

“They mean a lot to me. My job is easy, but I take it personal. I want to make them as good as they can be,” said Wilson.

It’s been a journey that’s had it’s bumps, like suffering a stroke three years ago in the middle of a game. Wilson says he walks and talks a little slower now on the sidelines, but even that won’t keep him from coaching.

“I love it. It gives me purpose,” said Wilson. “My wife asked me maybe I should just not coach this year, but what would I do? I don’t know anything else to do. It’s hard for me to do anything but what I love to do.”

Senior Calebi Cusher, was there the day Wilson had his stroke. She says she has a lot of respect for him for coming back after that. Cusher says it’s just a testament to how much he loves the game.

“He’s a legend,” said Cusher. “He knows the game of basketball in and out. He teaches it to you fundamentally. He’s always pushing us to be our best. It’s been great.”

His wife and assistant coach Paige Wilson says 900 wins means as much for the players as it does for her husband.

“He always teaches them to strive to be the best that they can be,” said Paige. “And by showing them that something this great can be achieved, then that’s definitely on their radar. They know that they can be great.”

Coach Wilson is the only coach in the state to take a team from each class to the state tournament. His advice to other coaches....

“Keep doing what you love, whether it’s coaching, or whatever it is. Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life,” said Wilson.

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