After decades of coaching, Tommy Cain joined the Briarwood Academy staff this year and last week the Lady Bucs helped him attain a milestone — his 600th win as a coach.
Last Tuesday, Jan. 14, the Lady Bucs traveled to Athens and defeated Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School 45-35.
For Cain, there was no fanfare — he was more focused on just getting the win regardless of his overall record.
“It was a tough win. Mon Don is a tough place to play. They have one of the best girls, if not the best, in the region,” he said.
Cain, 70, began his coaching career in the early 1970s at John Hancock Academy in Sparta.
“I had some really good teams down there and in four years probably won close to 200 games, maybe 150, a state championship one year, and always got into the final eight, mostly the final four,” said Cain, who back then coached both the girls and the boys.
“There weren’t many times I coached both teams,” he said.
His career has taken him across this part of the state, and occasionally a little further away.
He has coached at John Hancock Academy, Brentwood, John Milledge, Trinity Christian, Bullock Academy, Johnson County, and now Briarwood. He retired from coaching and spent 12 years teaching at Washington County High School. From there, he went to Brentwood for three years as a part-time coach, and then came to Briarwood this year.
“When I quit coaching in 2003 to go to Washington County, I had 592 and always thought it would be nice to get to 600. I am proud and happy that Briarwood gave me the opportunity to get 600 and I hope I can get a few more before the career’s over,” he said.
He focuses now on building a program at Briarwood.
“We inherited what we got and we are trying to do the best we can with a bunch of good kids and try to build a program,” Cain said.
He admits he is now coaching a different generation than when he started decades ago.
“I’m old school and this is a new type of kids. I have seen a little bit of everything. The kids are still good kids but they are a little different from what they were in 1970,” Cain said.