"It's time'; Madisonville basketball coach steps down after 10 years

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For Madisonville basketball Coach Brian Thurmond, the time was right.

After 10 seasons of leading the school’s basketball program, Thurmond met with his team Wednesday to inform them he would be stepping down as head basketball coach effective immediately.

“You get to a point in life and it’s time,” Thurmond said. “I had been praying about this decision for two months. Nothing is ever as good as it seems and nothing is ever as bad as it seems. And when I woke up Wednesday morning I just knew, I knew it was time, and I was at peace with the decision I was about to make.”

Thurmond won more than 200 games during his tenure as head coach for Madisonville, and has more than 400 wins spanning his 24-year basketball career.

“It’s been 10 great years,” said Thurmond. “The community has always been supportive and I’m thankful for that.”

Madisonville CISD Superintendent Keith Smith, former Athletic Director Greg Morgan and Principal Keith West all played an integral part in hiring Thurmond nearly a decade ago.

“Those men along with Johnny Carter are the reasons I started coaching in Madisonville. I owe those men a lot,” Thurmond said. 

Athletic Director Rusty Nail reflected on the commitment, time and energy Thurmond displayed during his time as head coach.

“I appreciate the time, effort and years of service that Coach Thurmond has put in at Madisonville High School as the head coach and wish him the best,” Nail said in a statement released Thursday.

Thurmond also had kind words for the AD.

“Rusty Nail has been great,” he said. “He’s been really great.”

And even though Thurmond might be stepping away from the sidelines at Mustang Gym, he isn’t stepping away from the thoughts of his players.

“I’m extremely glad to have been a part of helping Coach get his 400th career win this year,” said junior guard Sam Bennett. “I gave all I ever had for a great guy for three years, not only did I like him as a coach, but as a person. He made me an elite high school player and will be missed by all of us.”

While Thurmond still loves the game of basketball and plans on coaching in the future, he said the time had come for him to step aside and let a new voice enter the locker room.

“I always stressed to the boys that no one person is bigger than the team – it wasn’t something I just told them but it was something that, I myself, live by and therefore thought for the betterment of the team that I needed to step down and allow the boys to have a new direction for the reminder of the season,” Thurmond said.

Nail has assigned Russell Smith and Brad Taylor to serve as co-coaches for the remainder of the current season until a permanent replacement is named.

Although this is the end of his coaching career in Madisonville, Thurmond said he is excited about what the future holds.

“I have no idea where I’m going to be next year, but I know God is in control,” he said. “I want to thank all the assistant coaches for their loyalty, all the parents for their support and I can’t forget about all the players; each player has been a part of my success – without them, there is no Coach Thurmond.”

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