When it comes to basketball, Hall of Famer Terry Writer has about seen it all.
“This is my 40th year. I started back in 1972,” Writer said.
Besides a few years off, he’s always been on the bench coaching basketball.
He’s coached multiple schools to state championship games, and won nearly a dozen district titles.
“The district games, the state games, the final four games, the state championships games are the ones you remember, but you remember a lot of the tough losses as well,” Writer said.
While some of those losses stand out, so does Writer’s very first win.
“It was at Norwood, versus Tunas,” he said. “Tunas is a small school outside of Skyline, it’s now part of the Skyline district. So the school is not even in operation anymore.”
So his career has outlasted the first school he ever beat, notching one win after another until he reached 800 career victories on November 30th,
“I’m very fortunate, I’ve been blessed,” Writer said. “I’ve got a family that supports me, my wife loves the game and she encourages me to do it as long as I want.”
It’s been a long and storied journey, but Writer’s current chapter has only just begun in his first year at Spokane.
“His job is to make people better and I think that’s what he’s doing lately,” said Spokane senior Sam Shuman. “Obviously, he has 800 wins so he’s got to be doing something right.”
“The 20 win mile marker is pretty tough to get to so if you do that over the course of 40 years man, that’s pretty impressive,” added Spokane senior Brayden Pryer.
Writer says changing with the times is what’s kept him successful for so long.
“[The players are] going to shoot the threes more than they used to, and the game’s a lot faster, the kids are more athletic, and you’ve just got to get out there and go with it,” he said.
At this stage, there won’t be too much adjusting left to do. Even for a coach whose passion has never faded, a career can’t last forever.
“It gets harder every year, it really does physically,” Writer said. “So another year or two.”
So does he think he’ll get to 900 wins?
“I don’t think so,” he said.
Even still, Writer’s career will be matched by only the very best.