It's not easy to be a high school coach these days.
Time is the biggest culprit. And that factor claimed another victim recently when James Buchanan boys basketball coach Troy Hillwig handed in his resignation after coaching the Rockets for five seasons.
Hillwig's wife recently had their second child and that tipped the scales in the direction away from coaching.
"It was a tough decision, but I had to decide that first and foremost, my focus had to be with my family," Hillwig said. "At first, honestly, I was just taking it a year at a time. After we had our first child, I felt I could stick with coaching. But it was tougher after having the second.
"Coaching today takes a lot of time. It's almost 12 months of the year just to stay competitive."
James Buchanan athletic director Larry Strawoet said, "We thank Troy for his efforts and his time. Coaching does take you away from your family and he's moving in a different direction. I can appreciate that he wants to put his time in a different area."
Hillwig was an assistant coach on the Rockets' last really strong team, in 2006-07, that reached the PIAA Class AAA semifinals.
In the five years since, JB has not had that level of talent, but remained competitive until a 4-18 record this past winter. Hillwig's final record was 43-66 and his best season was a 12-10 mark in 2001-11.
Strawoet said, "We need to find a person like Troy who can help mold kids. We'll have to wait and see what
Hillwig said what he'll miss most is the relationships he developed.
"The biggest thing is the camaraderie with the former players, current players and the other coaches," he said. "It's about a lot more than just wins and losses."
The Rockets graduated several seniors but will have three starters back and another who was a sometime starter.
"I wish good luck to the guys next year," Hillwig said. "I think there is some potential coming back. One thing we did not have recently is a post presence, but they might get some help in that area. Ryan Hege will be a ninth-grader and he's got some size. If he can develop his skills he could make some noise."
Ed Gotwals can be reached at 262-4755 and firstname.lastname@example.org.