It was the end of a highly successful era at Nashville High with the announcement that athletic director Wayne Harre will resign his position as girls basketball coach.
The 50-year-old Harre guided Nashville to the 2013 Class 2A state championship and also helped the Hornettes to a pair of third-place finishes (2009 and 2010) and fourth-place finishes (2002 and 2011) while winning 15 straight regionals.
That included another regional title this season as the Hornettes (22-9) also reached the Wesclin Sectional final before losing to Central. Harre’s final girls basketball record was 412-78 with eight state tournament trips and eight sectional titles.
With Harre on the bench, no Nashville High girls basketball team lost more than nine games and seven of his teams lost four games or fewer. Eight of his 15 teams reached the state tournament, another remarkable accomplishment.
“I don’t know if I’m done coaching basketball, but it’s time to move on from the girls basketball here at Nashville,” said Harre, who resigned Monday at the Nashville school board meeting. “We had a good run and you have to make sure you don’t over-stay your situation. I try to do the best I can to read that a little bit.
“Nowadays it’s hard to stay at one place a long time without getting stale.”
There was nothing stale about Harre’s coaching run at Nashville.
He’s also resigning his position as assistant coach in softball, which he’s held since 1999. The Hornettes won a pair of state softball titles during his tenure and are 32-2 in his final season on the bench.
He also has resigned as a volleyball assistant coach, a post he has held since 2009 after also spending two seasons as head coach (2004 and 2005) and winning a pair of regionals.
The man of many seasons also served as a baseball assistant coach and spent 25 years as a high school football official.
After spending many years as a boys basketball assistant under former Nashville coaches Don Hawkins and Darin Lee, Harre made the jump to girls basketball in 2000. Before he did, he spoke to legendary former Teutopolis girls basketball coach Dennis Koester, whose teams won five state titles from 1986 to 1995.
“He said ‘Wayne, coach them just like you do the boys,’’’ Harre said. “Don’t back down, get on them and push them, so I did and it worked. I don’t know if it works everywhere, but it worked here at Nashville. I’m pretty proud of each girl that played for me and the family atmosphere we always had around the program.
“We’re still pretty tight. That means a lot to me and I think it means a lot to those girls, too.”
Harre’s teams weren’t flashy, instead focusing on defense, rebounding and solid fundamentals to get the job done.
“They bought into what we were trying to do,” he said. “We were never going to have players that were going to score a lot of points or do a lot of fancy things on the court. So you look at it and you say what can we do?
“Maybe we can try really hard on the defensive end and make it hard for people to score, and the players bought into that. After that it just kind of took off.”
Harre said winning the 2013 Class 2A girls state basketball title remains his career highlight.
“Just to win one was neat, but to win one with Jordi out there was incredible,” he said of daughter Jordi Harre, then a sophomore point guard for the state champs. “With her out there helping run the team it was a good situation for me.”
Harre did not rule out a return to coaching at some point. His plans for now are to remain as Nashville’s AD and oversee the schools sports programs.
“When I took the (basketball) job I thought maybe it was a year, maybe five years,” he said. “I kept hanging around and hanging around ... you don’t see that coming in life. Maybe down the road something else will happen, I don’t know.
“I’m not tired of coaching, I just feel a different person needs to take over the job. Maybe somebody else can do a better job, but we still hope the program can keep going like it’s going.”