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Examiner
  • Hines reflects on memorable coaching career

  • Ask Marc Hines about his “legendary” status at Blue Springs High School the past 30 years and the veteran coach will blush and tell you to take a walk.

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  • Ask Marc Hines about his “legendary” status at Blue Springs High School the past 30 years and the veteran coach will blush and tell you to take a walk.
    “Ol‘ Bud” doesn't like talking about himself, his accomplishments or the six state championship rings he keeps in a special display case at home.
    Hines was an assistant football coach at Blue Springs for 30 years and an assistant baseball coach for 25 years. The past six years he has been the head baseball coach and in 1996 he was the head softball coach.
    He owns four state championship football rings and two state championship baseball rings. He has been a part of every state championship in those two programs in the history of the school.
    “I kind of rotate them,” Hines said when asked which ring he wears on any given school day. “It's just kind of fun to look at them, because each one has so many special memories.”
    And memories will become a special part of Hines' Wildcat legacy.
    “What are we going to do without Ol' Bud next year?” asked head football coach Kelly Donohoe, who simply calls Hines, “A legend, the greatest soldier a coach could ever ask for. How could you find a more loyal coach or friend than Ol' Bud?
    “His length of service, the respect he has among his peers, the students and players, he is the personification of loyalty. Everyone loves him. When he bleeds, it's purple and gold. I think his ligaments are purple and gold, too.
    “But you know what really makes him special? He has a heart of gold. You watch him work with the special ed kids setting up the football field, or work with a small group of players, and you just smile because you're watching someone do what they love.”
    It's not just present-day Wildcats who respect the man who is retiring at the end of this school year. Former Wildcats football coach and activities director Tim Crone calls Ol' Bud an institution.
    “He has been an institution at Blue Springs High School for 30 years,” Crone wrote in a recent column. “His nickname Ol' Bud lovingly caught on with coaches and players alike. He was not only great as a coach but was a tremendous teacher of life lessons.
    “He was considered 'The Man,' by all the special education kids in the school. Coach Hines would take the entire special-program kids to assist with setting up the field every home game. He would have them all dressed head to toe in purple and gold. They would all be pumped up for Fridays.
    “He was an absolute master at setting up small successes that would eventually add up to a major success. The foundation he would build in practice would carry over to success at game time. Coach Hines has a marvelous knack for turning practice into fun. He has dealt with young people honestly and directly – he allowed mistakes and reinforced accomplishments. His demands came through love and respect and because of that received love and respect from every individual in the program.”
    Page 2 of 3 - Hines' final football game was a memorable 42-3 rout of Francis Howell in the Class 6 Show-Me Bowl state championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis last November.
    His final baseball game was a heartbreaking 3-1 Class 5 District 14 loss to Lee's Summit North on Monday on the Wildcats’ home field. The team had earlier won a share of the Suburban Big Six conference title.
    “The (last) football game was a little bit more fun,” said Hines, who had to continue taking care of the playing field since the Wildcats were the district tournament hosts. “I've had more fun mowing and raking the infield, but this was a great season with a great group of kids.”
    A few weeks ago, Hines was among some guests at Donohoe's home, and the subject soon turned to football.
    “Everyone was talking about next season, and getting all excited, and it hit me that I wasn't going to be a part of it,” said Hines, who taught industrial tech and worked with special needs students in a woods class. “It hit me then with football, and it's beginning to hit me now that baseball is over.”
    When asked about the six state championships, Hines just grins and says, “They've all been special. The first (football championship), back in 1992, was really special because we didn't know if we'd ever get past the Rockhursts and the Jefferson Cities to win one. Then we won in 2001 and 2003, and you began to think, we're going to be going to state and winning every couple of years. Well, that was nine years ago – so this (last) one couldn't be much more special.
    “And the baseball championships were special, too. Winning in 2007, which was (former head coach) Brad (Mayfield's) last year was really special. I wasn't the head coach last football season, but when you win your last game, well, that's something you will always remember.”
    The Blue Springs administration didn't have to look far to find a replacement for Hines.
    “(I read) when Marc was named as the head coach, replacing Brad Mayfield, that he just moved six inches over on the bench,” said Tim McElligott, who has been an assistant baseball coach at Blue Springs 17 years. “Well, I guess I'm going to find out what it's like to move those six inches, and I can't wait.”
    Hines applauds the move, saying McElligott was the only man for the job.
    “He's been a great assistant the past 17 years and he's a great baseball man and a good friend,” Hines said. “He was the only real choice. He knows the kids, the kids know him. It should be the perfect match.”
    Page 3 of 3 - Hines said he's going to spend his retirement fishing and relaxing, but admits that the football and baseball bug will be biting when those respective seasons roll around.
    “Any time you want to come mow the field, you're welcome to,” joked McElligott, as the two men broke into laughter.
    Hines was quick to add, “I don't know if more of me rubbed off on him, or he rubbed off on me. He's going to have a lot of fun coaching those kids, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for both teams.
    “It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     
     
     
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