WEST ALEXANDRIA — 400 wins.
It’s a milestone that few can achieve. It’s also a sign of success, longevity, and a healthy program.
Two weeks ago, in a Dec. 22 match-up against Bethel, Tony Augspurger reached that milestone, netting number 400 as head coach on the Twin Valley South sideline.
“I really appreciated winning the game that we did against Bethel for 400. It was, in my mind, what TVS basketball strives to be – a team effort with nine guys contributing to it and won with outstanding toughness on the defensive end,” said Augspurger. “I’ve always had people who look at our program and don’t really know me or who have thought that because I like to give kids freedom on offense to shoot the ball that we are loose and offensive driven. I believe that if you talked to the guys who have played for me, they would say that was a part of it, but a bigger part of it is that we going to defend as a group with intensity and pride. I think that’s definitely been one of the reasons we have had some success, an emphasis that we are going to guard you every night.”
With that signature “nasty” defense, Augspurger has led South to five Cross County Conference titles and one district title. But at the end of the day, even though he is highly competitive, Coach A hopes his legacy is measured in a lot more than wins and losses.
“I’d like to believe my legacy is that the young men that have played for me have been taught to work hard, to take responsibility, to care about each other and to believe that what we do as a team is more important than what we do as individuals,” he said. I would hope that they would say, ‘Coach A was honest with us, fair with us, and always did his best to help us be better basketball players and, even more importantly, better young men.’ If that is how the great group of kids that I’ve had over the years possibly look at their time with me, that is much better than any number of wins we’ve managed to come up with.”
That sentiment shined through when the community flooded South’s gym on Friday for a match-up against Ansonia. Before tip-off Augspurger was presented with a plaque and the Bethel game ball while several former players crowded the baseline in support.
Augspurger thanked all the administrators he’s worked for, as well all the coaches who have worked with him and bought into his style of play and, of course, his family for all their support over the years.
“It’s tough to be a coach’s wife and children. We’ve done it all here together,” he said. “At times, it’s been a little rocky but it’s been times I’ve treasured as a dad, as a husband, and I’m grateful for the time we’ve had here doing that.”
And while the day was cause for celebration Augspurger is a great competitor, as it’s been established, and said he had hoped to achieve this accomplishment a while ago.
The trip from 300 to 400 was way too long, he said, and the recent stretch has reminded him that he wants to get the Panthers back to the level of success to which they’ve become accustomed.
So even though wins and losses is not the number one priority for South’s program, he still does have one more item left on his wishlist:
“Daggone it, I’d like to help us get at least one more District Championship!”
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.