MORRISTOWN - Drew Greenwood is no different than any other young coach who is starting a family. There comes a time when a decision has to be made.
With that being said, the successful Union Local girls' basketball head coach and his wife Alexis, have two young daughters, Ellie (3) and Mollie (10 months). He cited those three reasons as his stepping down as the Jets court boss after a 5-year run that saw his team go 1-20 in his first season, but rebound to make two OVAC Championship games, winning the 2011 contest against Oak Glen. His career record was a deceiving 56-52.
"I just came to a point in my life where my priorities have shifted a little bit," he said. "I felt I had to make a decision, and by no means was it an easy one, especially with the girls that are coming back next year which have the potential to have a very solid season.
"They are all good girls that work very hard, and that is something that was very hard to walk away from and leave that in a sense, but I don't know if there was ever going to be a good time," he continued. "They will continue to get better and better."
"You really don't understand how much goes into coaching and such until you have kids of your own."
Greenwood took over for Marci Bonar five years ago and, after that dreadful initial season, the future continually got brighter for the Morristown-based program.
"We played in two OVAC championship games, and almost a third," he recalled. "A lot of investments were made by the coaching staff. A lot of time and effort, but we were able to surround ourselves with a lot of good kids that had the same goal in mind - do the best that they could and get the most out of themselves. We were able to see the fruits of our labor there for a couple of years.
"It's not all about basketball," he added. "Basketball is just a tool that we use to be better people because everything that we feel is involved in the game of basketball you can use in life to be a better person."
Greenwood will continue to teach special education for grades 6-12 at Union Local, but didn't rule out a return to coaching somewhere down the road.
"I'm very happy here. I just need a couple of years away from it," he said. "My daughters are young and I want to spend more time with them and my wife. I know that is the norm with these resignation things, but I feel it's the truth. You get home around 9 at night and it's like cheap time with your family.
"I'm finding a lot of joy spending more time with them right now."
When asked about a memorable win, it didn't take him long to come up with one.
"I'd have to say the OVAC championship game," he noted. "Just the looks on the girls' faces. I still look at that picture on the wall and all the smiling faces. That means everything, just to get the kids into a situation that they will remember for the rest of their lives."
Like all good head coaches, Greenwood gave huge kudos to his coaching staff.
"I was fortunate to surround myself with some really good assistant coaches in Dustin Roe and Amy Delaney. They were willing to make many sacrifices for the benefit of the kids. I commend them. They were a huge part of what we did here in the last five years."
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org