Hurst’s 36 years of loyalty show in 300th win

Published 12:18 am Sunday, October 19, 2008

It seems an odd place for such a magnificent achievement.

It didn’t occur at a large high school in one of the state’s metro areas.

No, Bill Hurst won his 300th career game at the same place he won his first 299 — in the sleepy little town of Centreville.

Email newsletter signup

And Hurst wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hurst has spurned offers to coach at larger high school and even colleges that would pay him much more than he currently makes as head football coach of Centreville Academy.

But loyalty has kept him at the same place for 36 years – 32 of them as head coach.

Hurst says the people of Centreville and Centreville Academy have been good to him throughout the years, so he just wanted to return the favor.

And has he ever done that.

There is no secret to Hurst’s success. It all goes back to hard work and an emphasis on team play.

Hurst admits he is of the old school, which means he will work the players near to death in practice.

They will run and run some more. And when they’re not running, they’re pushing a blocking sled that goes back to when Hurst started coaching in the 1970s.

Players know not to take any plays off or incur the wrath of their coach.

Hurst doesn’t tolerate players who don’t give maximum effort all the time.

Hurst’s halftime speeches were also the stuff of legend.

They are the kind that will raise the hair on the back of the players neck and make them want to come out in the second half ready to take it to the other team.

And most of the time they do.

But there is another side to Hurst as well.

Hurst may drive his players hard in practice and games, but he is always there to put an arm around the players as well.

Everyone I talked to about Hurst had great things to say about him, not only as a coach, but more importantly as a role model.

Centreville lineman Cody Roberts calls Hurst a father figure and says he looks up to him after the coach helped him through some things in his life.

He also stressed that Hurst never treats the football players any different than the rest of the student body at Centreville.

If a football player gets in trouble, he gets the same punishment from Hurst that a member of the student council or chorus would. There is no favoritism.

And for his part, Hurst says winning football games is secondary to being a positive role model for the students and Centreville and his football players.

That is something that is not seen enough of in football these days.

Many coaches only concern themselves with winning games, no matter the cost.

It’s refreshing to see a coach that puts his players and students first have such great success.

So congratulations, coach Hurst.

And here’s to many more victories and seasons of success.