After a season in which he seemingly ran the gamut of emotions as a head coach, Glenn Cunningham said the time seemed right to call it a career.
Cunningham said Monday he will retire as head baseball coach and as an assistant football coach from Harker Heights after spending nine years in both positions since returning to Killeen ISD in 2005.
“It’s kind of been in the makings,” Cunningham said. “I’ve had some thoughts here in probably the last year or so.
“I just decided that this was a good time to go out.”
Cunningham said he will continue to teach at Harker Heights despite retiring from coaching.
“Coaching is really time-consuming, there’s a lot of work involved,” he said, “and there’s some other things in my life going on now, and I kind of needed that time.”
Cunningham earned his 500th victory this past season at Heights and was recognized in an emotional pre-game ceremony prior to the Knights’ 4-0 win against Shoemaker on April 15.
Former players and friends gathered as the class of 2013 seniors presented him with a plaque commemorating his 500 wins, and former player Jerry Bark presented him with a plaque from Harker Heights Mayor Rob Robinson proclaiming the day Glenn Cunningham Day.
Cunningham also saw the jerseys of two of his former players retired at Ellison in a ceremony that preceded the Knights’ 5-3 win against Ellison on April 11.
He also guided Heights to the playoffs for the second consecutive season as the Knights tied the school record for wins in a season.
Cunningham said all of it created the perfect season to call his last.
“I got my 500th victory in head coaching and had just a great year, just really had a great year, and it was just one of those times you just felt like it’s the right time.”
Cunningham played football and baseball at Killeen before beginning his career as a head coach at Ellison in 1984.
After 10 years at Ellison, Cunningham moved on to Graham, where he led the Steers to the playoffs nine out of 11 seasons before returning to Killeen ISD in 2005, when he became the Knights’ head coach.
Cunningham touched the lives of many players during that span, but on Monday gave all the credit to his players one last time.
“The kids, you try to put them in a position to play, but those are the guys that are going to make the plays — it’s really on them,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham said as proud as he is of his accomplishments as a head coach, he’d never have achieved any of them without the great people that have been around him his entire career.
And after sharing many moments with many of those people this past season, Cunningham was happy to call it a career following the season.
“To share it with them was just really, truly, a blessing,” Cunningham said. “I just feel like I’ve been blessed.”
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