Some people spend the majority of their lives working at un-fulling jobs, never quite finding that chosen career path. Some individuals bounce around from industry to industry, always chasing greener pastures.
Then there is Rick Scarberry, who not only found his passion at an early age, but has spent over three decades teaching his love for the game.
And after 29 years on the hardwood — the last 13 seasons coming at Northwest — Scarberry has decided to call it a career.
Besides spending time behind the Mohawk bench, the former graduate of Green High School has coached at Rock Hill, Notre Dame and Zanesville. He couldn’t confirm his career record, although his victory total was not high on his priority list.
“I didn’t get into coaching for that (victories),” Scarberry said. “I come from a family of teachers and coaches. My uncle coached me in high school and I’ve had other great high school coaches that kept me going in the right direction.”
In athletics, coaches are measured by wins and losses, but to Scarberry, there are more important factors in play.
“Everybody wants to win but it’s about the kids, when they play hard for you and they do what you ask, that’s whats important to me,” Scarberry said. “The record takes care of itself.”
Just because Scarberry won’t be on the sidelines for Northwest this fall, Mohawk fans can be expected to see him at most contest as his son Drew heads into his senior season. It’ll be a change of pace for Scarberry; one that he is sure to relish.
“Drew still has a year left so naturally I’ll go to a lot of games where a lot of guys retire and then they don’t go to a lot of games because they don’t have too,” Scarberry said. “I’m still going to go watch Drew and I’m really looking forward to that. And my daughter will be a senior at Shawnee State and she’s the captain of the volleyball team, so I’ll get a chance to watch her a little bit more. So, it’s really good timing.”
However, at the same time, Scarberry admitted that he’ll miss coaching his son. But at the same time, Scarberry has already noticed the difference in his schedule and his availability to his family.
“I’m going to miss not coach Drew and I’m sure he’s going to miss me not yelling at him but it’s already been kind of nice,” Scarberry said with a smile. “I can do more things around the house. My mom and dad are getting a little bit older. We have some family things I can tend too a little bit more, so I’m really looking forward to it … “
Scarberry began playing basketball when he was in junior high. During his freshman and sophomore seasons in high school, he was coached by his uncle Frank Barnett who Scarberry touts as having the biggest influence on his basketball career.
“He was probably the biggest influence on me athletically,” Scarberry said. “We grew up on a farm and we worked over there seven days a week. The highlight of that was getting to go in the barn and shoot basketball. He kept me going … “
Since entering the coaching ranks, Scarberry has sacrificed his time, energy and effort into his program and his players clearly benifited. Despite his sacrifices, he is still more than willing to help anyone in need as he echoed his earlier sentiments — it’s not about the money.
“The money isn’t the motivating factor behind coaching, people don’t do it for the money,” Scarberry said. “You put a lot of time in and you take away a lot of time from your family to help out other people’s families. It was completely worth it but now I’m looking forward to kicking back and I’m still going to help anybody that wants help.
“I’ve had some people contact me about individual lessons or maybe helping coach, or becoming an assistant coach. So, I might get back into it at some point to help out … “
As Scarberry bids farewell, Northwest names Jerry Barlow as the new boys basketball coach. Barlow played his high school ball for the Mohawks before moving to Rio Grande as a collegiate player.
“I feel like the program is in good hands,” Scarberry said. “Jerry has coached with us for a couple of years. He’s been around the college game, so he’s got some experience. The kids will buy into what he’s teaching. I don’t expect him to do everything the way we’ve done things. But hopefully he learned some things from us — good or bad —that he can incorporate into his coaching style. I think he’ll do a fine job for us.”
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or on Twitter @crslone.