Coaches like Bob Cain just don't come around too often.
The legendary River High School coach realized that you just can't stay forever.
Cain - already a member of the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Hall of Fame - decided to retire from his post after 19 years at the Pilots' helm.
"When I got inducted to the hall of fame, I decided that was the sign that the other coaches were telling me it was time to get out," Cain joked. "I think they'd had enough of me. Actually, I just didn't think it was right to be in a hall of fame and still coaching."
The Atwater Waterloo graduate assumed the post of Pilots' coach in 1993 and guided his program to a pair of OVAC championships (2003 and 2010).
He coached one individual (Zac Wax) to the state tournament.
"Obviously, winning those OVAC titles was the highlight of my career," Cain said. "And the state tournament was quite an experience."
He also pointed out John Martin winning back-to-back OVAC individual titles, Ryan Rosnick coming out for his first tournament and posting a 33, Samantha Knowlton qualifying for the girls' district three of four years and Jesse Merckle posted an albatross (double eagle) in a tournament as some of his highlights.
"We've had some good players," Cain said. "I just wish we could have had them all in school at the same time."
River has already tabbed Cain's replacement. Long-time assistant Justin Fetty is set to lead the Pilots when they take to the course next month.
"It's going to be in good hands," Cain said. "I think he's got 11 kids coming out and Jason Miller is a solid returning player, who plays a lot. I think they'll be solid."
Cain, who retired as a teacher from River six years ago, plans on remaining active in the game of golf and not just a player. He'll remain the OVAC 2A Golf Championship director.
Along with that duty, Cain is going to work as a volunteer assistant coach with the Wheeling Jesuit golf program.
"I play golf with the head coach (Ed Noll)," Cain said. "He told me, 'if you're not going to be doing anything, I could use some help.' So, I am going to help him out as much as I can. It's really not through the school because I am just volunteering."
Cain is still a standout golfer, playing five times a week. He played golf and basketball collegiately at Wyoming for two years before transferring to Akron where he played both sports and earned his bachelor's degree.
Cain, who said he "may make a cameo appearance at a few prep golf matches this fall," credited folks like Richard "Lefty" Hall, Kenny Campanizzi and Brad Wilson for helping him out during the early years of his coaching career.
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