GLEN DALE - After 32 on the bench,John Marshall basketball coach Bill Storm has decided to hang up his whistle.
Storm spent a bulk of his coaching career at his alma mater, including the last eight as the head coach.
"It was time," the long-time area hoops coach said Monday evening.
"I actually thought about it last year but I wasn't sure I was ready," Storm said. "But I told my assistants and the principal that this was going to be my last year. We had some success here and I'm proud of that. We always had great kids, and that makes it difficult but it was time to go."
Storm began his career as an eighth grade coach at Moundsville Middle School - right out of college - and moved up to an assistant at John Marshall in 1982, where he served under Digger O'Dell and later Pancho Flores.
He took over the head coaching position in 2007.
His first team won just seven games but the seed of success had been planted.
"We had a lot of good sophomores and we kept them down on JV for most of the year," Storm said. "We wanted them to learn how to win."
The next season they did just that, beating rival Wheeling Park in the sectional tournament, and then battling Morgantown tooth and nail before finally getting knocked out in the regional final.
That set the stage for his best year, 2009.
The Monarchs, as a team, enjoyed their finest season, winning 19 games and advancing to their only state tournament appearance.
Storm also noted the team had success in the OVAC Tournament during that stretch, making it to the finals of the Classs 5A Tournament. They would lose to Indian Creek in 2008 and also lost to some talented Wheeling Park teams in three other finals.
Obviously, leaving the camaraderie will be hard.