Coach Stein saying goodbye
Cards headman leaving after fourth season
Next year there will be a peculiar silence on the bench of the Eudora boys basketball team.
There will be no more of the familiar shouts of "Why?" and "What are you doing?" that dominated the Cardinal bench and tickled so many crowds during games for the last four years. The season ended for Eudora at Anderson County last week, and it also saw the end of the Scott Stein coaching era.
Stein will resign at the end of the school year after four years as the Cardinals' head man. The decision was made before the season began and had nothing to do with the team or the disappointing season.
"This was purely a money issue," Stein said. "I have my 85 points, and now I can draw from my pension and still be an educator."
Stein has been an educator for 31 years and found that retirement was perhaps a better financial option than continuing to teach.
"I enjoy teaching," said Stein. "But I've found that being an educator doesn't really pay that well."
The number 85 that Stein referred to is the number of points earned through the Kansas Public Employees Retirement Systems guidelines to qualify for retirement. Stein earned his points this year and will take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy his benefits, but in order to do that, he must resign from the Eudora school district. Stein said he would pursue other opportunities in the profession.
On the basketball side, Stein leaves Eudora with an overall record of 44-43 with the Cardinals, which included this year's disappointing 7-14 record.
Although the team had a losing record this year, Stein was still pleased with the effort that his players gave.
"It was disappointing this year," Stein said. "But these kids never stopped working and never stopped trying to get better."
During the four years that Stein coached, he recalled some highlights of his time with some of the previous Cardinal squads.
"I think that my second year was a highlight," Stein said. "We made it all the way to the finals of the sub-state tournament. We finished the year 15-8 and had really no expectations to do anything. So that was satisfying."
Stein was honored in January 2004 for recording his 400th career basketball win, which he recorded in December 2003 with the Cardinals.
Stein began his coaching career at La Crosse in 1973 and spent six years there before moving on to Abilene. Stein spent nearly half of his 32 years of coaching at the north central Kansas school. After that he had brief stops at Neodesha, Wyandotte and Shawnee Mission, all Kansas schools, before coming to Eudora in 2001.
Stein beat out many candidates for the Cardinal job, including Jim Hinrich, father of Jayhawk all-star Kirk Hinrich.
When he arrived at Eudora, he did have a bit of a background with some of his future players.
"I'd coached some of these guys before in camps and such," Stein said. "So I had a little familiarity with the situation."
Stein believes that he will probably continue to coach as he leaves the district, but doesn't know where.
"There's a finality in athletics," Stein said. "There's always that possibility of the season just coming to an end. But coaches go on. I'll probably end up somewhere."
Stein's overall coaching record is 413-270.