Ramsey: Russ McKinstry
was calm, cool, but his passion led Lewis-Palmer
to top of state hoops
Photo - Lewis-Palmer head coach Russ McKinstry talks to his players during the second half of a game in Boulder on Thursday, March 8, 2012. Lewis-Palmer won 70-59 and will play in the state championship. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)
Lewis-Palmer head coach Russ McKinstry talks to his players during the second half of a game in Boulder on Thursday, March 8, 2012.
won 70-59 and will play in the state championship. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)
has performed for the past two decades as the mellow Zen Master of Colorado high school basketball.
offered concise, calm correction.
On Monday, McKinstry ended his reign as Zen Master when he resigned as Lewis-Palmer's coach.
departing the sideline to devote himself fully to administrative work as athletic director for Chaparral High School
wants to spend more time with his
wife and his
It appears his
coaching career has ended.
And that's sad.
cared, but he
placed this caring in context.
In an era of stomping, shouting, look-at-me basketball coaches, McKinstry
After departing an L-P game, you talked about dunks and blocks and assists.
You never talked about the coach's tantrums.
"The coaches who are in it for the long run, they do it for the relationships that they have with their players," McKinstry
"That's where I was really blessed.
I was blessed to work with great young guys who taught me more than I taught them."
At games, McKinstry
was serene, but at practice and pregame talks he
Before a 2011 state playoff game, McKinstry
shouted to the Rangers in the locker room.
This was, he
announced, "Burn the Bus" night.
"If we lose this game, we are not going back!
won the game, which meant players never discovered if coach was serious about torching the team bus.
Might have been fun to watch.
departs after his
kept pushing, kept believing, and his
players grew into their coach's faith.
The supporting cast grew up, and L-P slipped past Wasson in the state semis before devouring Valor Christian in the final.
After the final buzzer against Valor, McKinstry
embraced his top assistant and close friend, Bill Benton.
was completely devoted to high school coaching.
a proud Colorado native who has attended the state tournament for nearly his
had a simple goal:
wanted to rule his
And just before he
rode into the sunset, that's exactly what he