A desire to focus on other aspects of his personal and professional lives has led Lovell High school boys basketball coach Brian May to resign after four years at the helm of the Bulldogs.
May, who led the Bulldogs to the Class 2A state championship in early March, said it took some soul searching to reach his decision, but he recently realized he needed to make a change in his life. He said he appreciates the opportunity to coach in his hometown.
“I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to coach Lovell basketball,” he said. “We have great kids. To be able to come back having played in Lovell and now coach, it’s been wonderful.
“It was a little bit of a shock to some, and it took me some time to think about it. We all, at times, take a look at ourselves and the things we feel strongly about. For me it was church and my counseling position. As I reflected on those aspects, I was not where I wanted to be. And the reason was basketball.”
May said basketball consumed him during his four years of head coaching because he wanted to give coaching his all.
“Going into it I knew my love of the game and desire to do well might be hard to turn off,” May said. “I found myself not being able to do that as well as some do. I’d be working with a student and thinking about a play I wanted to put in at practice. Even going home on the bus after the state championship I was already thinking about next year.”
Coaching takes a lot of time even during the offseason, he said.
“These days kids aren’t playing as much basketball and doing the things they need to do to make them strong, quality players,” May said. “As coaches we’re always looking for things to help them and push them to be better (like camps and open gym). You lose track of the personal things that need to be taken care of.”
May said he will take a few courses this summer and come back even stronger as the Lovell Elementary School Counselor.
“I will take care of my responsibilities as counselor and put more time into individual, group and classroom work, making sure I’m taking care of those kids,” he said. “Sometimes you have to de-clutter your life and focus on certain things.”
The May record
May has compiled an impressive record in four years at the helm of the Bulldogs: 18-10 and the consolation championship at State in 2009-10, 24-3 and the third-place trophy in 2010-11, 22-5 and a second-place finish in 2011-12 and 25-1 and the state championship in 2012-13 – an 89-19 record.
May’s teams have won three conference championships, two regional titles and four trophies at State, winning two or more games at State in each appearance.
“How fun is it to play in three state championship games for Lovell, then coach in a place you love and take a group of kids and play in two more,” May marveled. “Many times as a coach you don’t have those opportunities. I’m thankful for those.
“The fun thing about having this opportunity is that, as head coach, I got to do it my way, running the things offensively and defensively that I wanted to do. We got better every year, and that was fun.”
But it’s more than winning, May said.
“I hope the biggest things the kids learned is the importance of hard work, being on time, communicating and the life lessons of discouragement – how to handle things when they don’t go the way you hoped they would – and celebrating the successes you have.”
May also said it has been a pleasure coaching with his brother RJ.
“RJ is the one coach that has been with me the entire time,” May said. “I appreciate his hard work and loyalty.
“Who would have thought that two farm kids would have this opportunity? How fun it’s been in our hometown.”
May also said that son Colin expects to play for the Northwest College Trappers next season and he will now have the opportunity to watch him play.
By David Peck