CLYDE – In a season that was far from routine, at least one aspect remained consistent for the Clyde boys’ basketball team: Marc Case.
The experienced coach, who has been an integral part of Big Country for over 30 years, was still himself – fiery, emotional and demanding.
And the folks around the Bulldogs program wouldn’t have it any different.
“He just treats you like his own son,” said senior security guard Jacob Roberts. “He treats you like one of his own, and you have to love him for that.”
“Intensive trainer, better guy”
Called “old school” itself, Case’s coaching style is often expressed in yelling – whether it be against officials during a game or against players who make a mistake.
Although Case was toned down compared to decades ago, he said it was difficult to keep his passion bottled up. It has been so since Cooper hired 23-year-old McMurry University and Amarillo Tascosa in 1974. He spent 20 years with Cooper.
More:Marc Case returns to Clyde as a headboy basketball coach
“Sport has always been very emotional for me,” said Case. “I’m just not one of those coaches – I see a lot of these guys sitting with their legs crossed and not getting up much. It just was never my style.
“If this ball goes up in the middle of the jump, a fire will start in the oven and it will keep burning.”
That makes it understandable that Case could be referring to Texas Tech trainer Chris Beard, a friend and former McMurry trainer who went viral this week after his rant after an expulsion.
“I don’t know how you can train and spend the time we spend making the sacrifices we make and not being fully involved in what you do,” Case said. “They ask your players to do that. Sometimes things just overflow. That’s why they have technical fouls.”
Case, 69, has never shied away from sharing his thoughts with officials, but he said his number of technical fouls was low. He values referees, what he calls a “thankless job,” and has always tried to remain professional, even with disagreements.
It is also noticed by officials.
Jeff Groban, a 33-year-old referee, likes to name Case’s games. He got to know the coach off the field, where he behaved very differently.
“It’s actually pretty cool,” said Groban. “I know he’s passionate about the game. He yells and yells a lot, but that’s just part of his personality on the basketball court. All in all, he’s just a really, really nice guy off the court. He gets very intense at the basketball court, but I’m used to it. I’ve seen it for 30 years …
“He’s very popular with pretty much everyone. Everyone knows he’s a very intense coach, but he’s a better guy.”
Players get it too
This intensity is sometimes aimed at players too. It’s a persistent approach that has turned some off but tries to get the best out of its group.
“We have our moments,” said Roberts with a laugh. “You do something bad and then you get yelled at. I like being yelled at. It makes me play harder … The ones who probably haven’t left us earlier this season. But everyone who’s on the team loves it now. “
Scott Campbell, Clyde Sporting Director, lured Case out of retirement in 2018. Campbell said it is important that his staff can be themselves and he knows that Case’s players are better because of their sophisticated style.
“It definitely takes a tougher kid on your mind,” said Campbell. “We’ve added kids to the basketball program for the past few years who realized that for some reason this wasn’t for me. But those who stuck to it, those who followed his course really did.” benefits from it. “
For Case, it’s about setting standards and complying with them.
“I don’t know if I’ve changed that much,” said Case. “… I think kids still want to know what the parameters are, what your expectations are, what your goals are, and how you are going to try to achieve them. That really hasn’t changed.”
Feisty bunch of bulldogs
Case admits those goals were missed this season, which Clyde finished 14-12 after losing to Jim Ned on Friday.
But the road was not easy for the Bulldogs, whom Case described as “the hardest-working, liveliest bunch I’ve ever trained.”
Three of District 6-3A’s playoff teams won at least 20 games, and Jim Ned, the multi-year performance, finished third, 10-4. Clyde lost three competitions against the top teams in the league by four points or less.
This competitiveness comes as no surprise to Groban, who said Case teams are always made up of fighters.
“One thing about him is that his kids always play hard for him,” said Groban. “Since I’m officiating for him, whether it was Clyde or Cooper … anyone who plays for him you know they’ll come out and play hard no matter what.”
That’s what Roberts and the other three seniors on the team did. This group, which includes Monroe Burleson, Jorge Cantu and Dusty Porter, holds a special place in Case’s heart. Because of the unique challenges the pandemic and the entire team bring, it has been a year the coach will not forget.
“They don’t seem to be bothered by anything,” said Case, “whether it’s about the COVID issues or whatever. We lost some really close games that kept us out of the playoffs, but they just kept grinding and continued working. ” Your attitude was great. “
This is not the end of the line for Case.
The coach believes the program, which had a 19-2 JV roster, is a step in the right direction. And there is no hesitation in his desire to move on. After all, Case said he struggled to fill his free time during his previous retirement.
“Coach Case and I have already talked about how things will look in the future,” said Campbell. “I know he still feels like he still has a few things left in the tank and I think the kids at Clyde will definitely benefit from that.”
As long as his second stint with Clyde continues, Case will no doubt keep doing things the way he can.
“My plans are if they want me to come back I’ll definitely come back,” said Case. “But I know somewhere on the street I can’t do this forever. When that time comes, all I can do is thank Clyde, the ward, and the school administration for the support they have given me.
“It was just a fantastic situation.”
Stephen Garcia is a sports reporter who primarily covers schools in the Big Country. Follow him on Twitter at @ARN_Stephen. If you value local news, you can get local journalists with one digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.