Olney head coach Carl Pennington has 300 career wins under his belt. But in humble Pennington fashion, he’s not really taking credit for the milestone, “Three hundred is nice, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. It just shows that I’ve had good players and good teams. So it just shows if you stay in this business long enough, you’ll get many milestones. But as long as you try to do right by kids.”
A familiar face in Texoma, Pennington started his head coaching career at Wichita Falls High School, taking over for his mentor, Lary Menefee, after serving as his assistant coach. Menefee retired just before reaching 300 career wins….with 299. Now in his fifth year coaching the Cubs, Pennington says surpassing his mentor doesn’t mean much to him, other than he hopes to continue to carry on what Menefee instilled in him.
“It’s really not about the coaches. It’s about the kids and to make sure their lives are better. And that’s all it’s about. The wins are great, but once again it’s all about the kids,” says Pennington.
Menfee would likely be proud to hear what Olney senior Carson Fite has learned from Pennington over his four year basketball career, “He’s got good character off the court, he’s always really a really nice guy. He might get on the court and seem pretty intense and crazy and stuff, but for the most part, he’s a really great guy.”
Pennington’s intensity is not subtle to say the least, but believe it or not, he says coaching at Olney has taught him to be calmer, “I’m getting older, that’s for one thing. I’m less stressed. I’m calmer. Most people won’t believe that if you saw me at Old High, but I’m much calmer, and more laid back, and the losses don’t hurt as bad anymore as they used to. You take the losses home with you and you kind of get upset about the losses, and what you try to tell the kids is it’s just a game. As you get older you just try to enjoy the moment, right now I’m enjoying every moment. I just enjoy being around kids. But you want to make sure you make a good impression on their lives somehow. And fortunately I’ve done that a lot of years, and not trying to brag, but I’m proud that the kids call you and text you back to thank you for making a difference in their lives and that’s what we’re in this for.”