Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Girls basketball coach Simpson to leave Basehor-Linwood for Liberty

April 25, 2012, 1:58 p.m.

Updated: April 26, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

Basehor-Linwood girls basketball coach Noah Simpson will be leaving the program after five seasons to coach at Liberty (Mo.) High School.

"It came across as one of those opportunities I'd regret 10 years down the line if I hadn't tried for it," Simpson told the Sentinel on Wednesday.

Simpson compiled an 83-33 record at Basehor-Linwood, with his team’s 8-12 2011-12 record being his only losing season. Simpson’s resume includes three sub-state championships (2007-08, 2009-10 and 2010-11), and a third-place finish in the 2011 4A state championship tournament.

The move to Liberty will end a tenure that saw Simpson, 31, spend 17 years in Basehor-Linwood's school district as a student, teacher and coach. Simpson said the decision to tell his girls that he'd be leaving.

"I can't thank them enough for their understanding," Simpson said.

His gratitude extended to Basehor-Linwood's athletic department, where Joe Keeler has been at the helm since Simpson was himself a high school student.

"I'd put this district up against anyone," Simpson said.

Were it not for his time as Bobcats coach, Simpson said, he wouldn't be ready for the opportunity he has now taken.

Liberty is a Class 5A school that won a state championship in 2007. Each year, Simpson will coach against teams like Raymore-Peculiar, Blue Springs, and Lee's Summit.

Although his team did not advance to the postseason for the first time since he took over, Simpson did get to see senior Bailey Hooker sign a letter of intent to play basketball at St. Mary's University.

It's easy for Simpson to point to his teams advancing to the state tournament three out of five years as being among the highlights of his time at Basehor-Linwood, but that's not all he thinks about.

He said he'll remember the little things, like his 5-year-old daughter, Shae, always asking to hang out with the players. Or the relationships established over the years.

"It's the friendships and the relationships that are most important," Simpson said.

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