Perhaps the most recognizable basketball coaching duo for the past decade and a half has been QND's Scott Douglas and Bob Sheffield. Douglas the Raider head coach for 17 seasons, and Sheffield his assistant for all but one of them. And when Scott Douglas decided to call it quits last month, it seemed the job was a perfect fit for his longtime assistant.
"I have been looking forward to this for a long time, but I always told Coach Douglas that as long as he was here, I was here. If he had been here another 20 years, I would have been right by his side,"
For 17 years, Scott Douglas was the face associated with the sidelines of QND basketball. But just about every step of the way, Bob Sheffield was there too. The longtime assistant known for his passion and loyalty to the Raider program had seen more than 300 wins in that tenure, but last month, he saw something new: an opportunity to fulfill a dream. When Douglas stepped down in April, Sheffield knew that this was the moment he had been waiting for. And those around him knew he was the perfect candidate.
"He's just got great knowledge of the game, he understands the game and what's needed at certain times and the strategies of the game. He understands what it takes to put a team together, which I think is the biggest challenge we face as high school coaches,"
"He's allowed me to be a big part of the defense - I arrange the defense and do all of the drills in practice, but he's also allowed me to have input on the offensive side. Everything we've done in the last 17 years, we've discussed. He's allowed me to be a big part of the team and I appreciate that,"
Its obvious that Sheffield was allowed the role of a very hands-on assistant under Douglas. Up to this point, the program has been guided strongly with his influence, which will help to wipe away much of the 'transition period' you so often hear about with a coaching change.
"Very similar philosophy - I'll put my own personality into it, but my philosophy is that we'll play hard, play smart and together. We're going to pressure you on defense, and on offense we're going to attack you, but I'll bring some of my own personality into the program,"
"We'd like to keep it going in a direction similar to what its been in the past, and I think Coach Sheffield will do that and more,"
Whether it was a Friday night showdown at the Pit, or a Saturday afternoon at the Holiday Classic, Bob Sheffield has had plenty of memorable weekends as a member of Raider basketball. But perhaps this past weekend is the one he'll remember most.
"It was perfect timing to have happened Mother's Day weekend. I lost my mom 3 years ago, and I'm the youngest of 7, so I think she's proud and bragging about me, so it was a good weekend to find out that I've had a chance to reach my goal,"