After a nine-year hiatus from head coaching, Steven Boyd recently put his sneakers on again to take the helm of the Augusta Preparatory Day School's girls varsity basketball team.
Boyd coached the boys varsity squad for 20 years and served a portion of that time at Augusta Prep's athletic director. A history teacher, he relinquished his head coaching duties in 1998, but occasionally served as an assistant basketball coach.
At the urging of the private school's faculty, Boyd came back to coaching full time.
"I just thought I could help get the program righted a little bit," he said.
The girls' previous coach, Jeremy Burden, abruptly resigned during the 2006-07 season.
"The previous coach was a very good coach, but there seemed to be some clashes with some of the parents and the coach," Boyd said. "I came in and tried to make everyone understand that it's a family, but you can't make everyone happy. We have to try to do what's right for the team."
Trying to give his program a new focus hasn't been easy, Boyd said. As of last week, the team had a 7-8 record.
Three of those losses came after Christmas during a weekend tournament in Columbia, and another was a recent loss to Augusta Christian.
"I never stress the winning and losing as much as I do being competitive and giving it all your effort," Boyd said.
Though disappointed that some of Prep's better basketball players would rather play volleyball or soccer, Boyd said his girls team has given it their all.
"As far as effort, in terms of playing on the court, it's been tremendous," he said. "They've played very hard."
Turnovers have thwarted many potential wins for a team that has coughed up the ball as much as 30 times in a single match, Boyd said.
"On the court, we've made too many turnovers, but we've shot well and been able to get to the free-throw line," he said. "We've done a better job lately with defensive rebounding."
The most important lessons Boyd said he hopes to impress on his players is to use their intelligence, learn to put the program ahead of themselves and work together for a common good.
"For a lot of schools, it's competition," he said. "To me, the athletic venue offers a chance for cooperation."
Boyd said he is still unsure whether he'll continue coaching following this season. Much of his decision will depend on his players and their feelings on the matter.
"If they're comfortable with the fit, and I haven't gone completely bonkers trying to balance everything I need to do, I'll keep doing it," he said. "I enjoy coaching."
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