For Bill Robinson, the wins and the banners were important. But Robinson says what he'll miss the most about coaching is all of the relationships.
"Absolutely. That's going to be the toughest thing is just the relationships I've had with everybody over the years," said Robinson, who has decided to step aside as the boys basketball at Hoosac Valley.
Robinson told Hoosac Valley athletic director Mike Henault on Thursday that he was going to relinquish his seat on the Hoosac Valley boys hoop bench after 25 seasons.
Robinson leaves after hanging four Western Massachusetts championship banners on the gym wall in Cheshire. Three of the four have been won since 2009, and the most recent was in 2016 when the Hurricanes beat Easthampton 54-51 at the Curry Hicks Cage.
"Really, I wasn't thinking about it," said Robinson. "I finally just made the decision Thursday that, you know what, it's time to give somebody else a turn."
In the past decade, the Hurricanes reached three Western Mass. championship games, made it to two other finals and two semifinals. Robinson's teams played in nine Western Mass. title games, winning four of them.
Robinson said he wants to spend a little more time watching his daughters play basketball. McKenzie is a sophomore who started at MCLA for much of the 2014-15 season. Younger daughter Riley will be starting her freshman season at Hoosac in the fall. She'll be playing for Robinson's close friend Ron Wojcik.
"One's going to be starting to play in high school and one's in college playing," Robinson said. "It's time to watch them a little bit and not miss any of their games.
"Splitting it up three ways would have been awful."
Robinson said it wasn't as tough before because Riley's games were on the weekend. While he was coaching, he did miss some of McKenzie's games at MCLA.
"I missed a few of McKenzie's games in high school because I was at practice or I had a game," he said. "Now I don't have to worry about that."
One of the recent highlights of Robinson's career had to come in 2015, when Hoosac edged Wahconah 48-46 to win a Western Mass. Division III title. The Hurricanes needed to win what could have been called a County Invitational to claim the title. Hoosac beat Mount Greylock and Drury on its way to the crown. Then in the state semifinals, Jameson Coughlan's basket in double overtime sent the Hurricanes past Uxbridge and to the state Division III championship.
As to the decision, Robinson said he told Henault who then asked the now former coach to think about things over the weekend. Robinson said he didn't have to.
Robinson said that he has, off and on, thought about stepping aside earlier in his career. This time, while the decision was made, the thought process didn't start in earnest until after the basketball season.
"I didn't think about it the whole season, I really didn't. I thought about our team and what we had to do this year," said Robinson, who was an assistant at Hoosac for four seasons and Drury for one before taking the head coaching job with the Hurricanes. "Once the season ended, I enjoyed the [Western Mass.] victory, and then started to think about what's going to happen moving forward."
Taconic head coach Bill Heaphy is now the dean of Berkshire County basketball coaches. He has been at the Taconic helm for 16 seasons. Drury's Jack Racette just finished his 11th year and is second among boys coaches. Mount Everett's Scott Rote has been the girls head coach in Sheffield for 15 seasons.
Robinson did say that he isn't ruling out a return to the bench at some point, just not right now.
"I said something to Mike Larabee and my coaches at the beginning of the year, that this could be my last year and we'll see how it plays out," said Robinson. "I've thought about it in the past, but I've always come back for more.
"At this point, there is no more."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.