Mar. 27—MOREHEAD — Bob Trimble lingered in the northeastern tunnel at Ellis T. Johnson Arena on Saturday night and wiped his eyes as he looked out over the floor where Raceland had just played its final game of the season.
It was, as it turned out, also the last game of his coaching career, and it ended on the floor that has become the benchmark for Raceland under Trimble's leadership.
The 2021 Rams were the 10th Raceland team — five boys and five girls — that gave Trimble the opportunity to coach in Morehead in 16 years as a head coach.
Giving his alma mater that experience deeply affected Trimble, who told the Rams he is retiring on Friday.
"It's just been home to me," Trimble said, pausing to collect his emotions on Friday afternoon. "It's been a special place."
More so with Trimble coaching. He departs as the second-winningest coach in Raceland boys history, going 128-124 in nine seasons leading the Rams, and Trimble's Raceland girls teams won more under him than anyone else. His 110-90 record in that role is tops in Lady Rams lore in both wins and in winning percentage among coaches that stayed for more than one season.
Raceland's boys won two 63rd District Tournament titles under Trimble, which were special to him, he said, because the Rams never achieved that in his playing career from 1980-82.
"I'd been in those guys' shoes and never got that done as a player," Trimble said, "and was really excited to see our players be a part of that, as a coach."
Under Trimble, the Rams boys won a 16th Region All "A" Classic title and their first and only Derby Classic championship, and they advanced to the 16th Region Tournament semifinals twice.
And the Lady Rams won two district titles — their only to date — and two All "A" region crowns under Trimble's lead.
Trimble was voted region girls Coach of the Year in 2007 and the region's supreme boys bench boss in 2018 by the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches.
The Rams boys posted winning seasons in each of Trimble's last four years.
"I don't know how often that's been done at Raceland, but probably not a lot," Trimble said, "and (current players) were a huge part of that, and that's something that they need to continue to build upon and even take to another level."
Trimble said he often in recent years pondered midseason if it was his last campaign and knew this year that it was.
"I'm not teaching anymore," said Trimble, who retired from that profession in February 2020, "so I'm home during the day, and coaching takes a lot of time and a lot of time away from home. I got used to being at home, I think, and really enjoyed being around my grandkids and my family, and that was probably a big part of it."
Trimble added he plans to spend more time with his wife, Robin, and will see his grown children, Lyndsay and Tate, more often. They live in Cincinnati.
Trimble's coaching career began at Lawrence County as an assistant in 1991. He went home in 1993 and never left until now.
"It's been huge just to be at Raceland," Trimble said, pausing again to gather himself, "and be a big part of all that stuff that I was a part of growing up."
Trimble also thanked his assistants and players over the years for their efforts.
"I told them I appreciated the culture that we'd all created together," Trimble said of Friday's team meeting, "and that probably means as much as anything."
Concurred Raceland principal and athletic director Tom Collins: "Coach Bob Trimble has been part of the proud RWHS athletic tradition for a long time. It started as a student-athlete and then continued as a professional and coach. He is leaving some large shoes to fill for someone, but we feel he has left the program in a position for continued success.
"We are sad to see him 'hang up the spurs,' but we are happy for him and his family and this well-deserved move to bigger and better things."
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