McCollister steps down at Rock Hill

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 20, 2003

PEDRO - After a 10-year stint as head coach of the Rock Hill Redmen, Bob McCollister called it quits.

Or so he thought.

Three years later he was back in the same position and remained there for three more years.

Email newsletter signup

But the school's winningest coach has decided that enough is enough. McCollister resigned Tuesday as the Redmen head football coach, and he said this time it's permanent.


"I can't imagine the circumstances, but you never know. The bug never goes away. I'll have to find another way to keep it out of my system," McCollister said.

Although McCollister plans to step aside from active duty, he doesn't want to totally divorce himself from the program.

"I'm going to hang around and help with the weight program. A lot depends on who gets the job and if they want me around. But I'll be glad to help if they want me to help. If they don't, I'll step aside. I'll do what's ever best for the program," McCollister said.

As a 1973 graduate and former Rock Hill player, McCollister served six years as an assistant coach - two at Gallipolis, one at Washington Court House, and two at Chillicothe. He then returned to his alma mater to take over as the head coach when Ken Vessely retired.

"I had just finished my general (degree) at Ohio State and I just needed to get my dissertation. But my family had sacrificed a whole lot. My wife needed to get her education," McCollister said.

"I thought I'd go back to work and and then work on my dissertation. The opportunity was here and I wanted my children to get to know their grandparents. It was a lot of things. It just seemed like the right thing at the right time."

McCollister's 13-year reign ends with a 67-63 record and the school's only back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference championships and two postseason playoff appearances. The Redmen were 7-4 this season and a playoff berth.

"This year was a great year. There were a lot of highlights through the years. This year was a great year," McCollister said. "It's hard to narrow it down. 1995 was a great year, but the next year was fun because we weren't expected to do anything."

While the wins will be remembered, McCollister said there were other things that will override the on-the-field accomplishments.

"You can never forget the kids, and there are a lot of personal things you never forget," McCollister said. "To somewhat quote (college coach turned analyst) Lee Corso, 'when a business man dies, he leaves a lot of money. When a coach dies or retires, he leaves a lot of different things. He leaves a lot of memorable relationships. There's not a lot of money. It's a different profession, not like anything else.

&uot;In a society that puts a lot of emphasis on how much money you make, the intangibles are hard to put a value on when it comes to coaching."

Speaking of coaching, McCollister thanked all his assistant coaches over the years. He was especially proud of this year's group.

"Chris Robinson has just volunteered year after year. People don't know how much he's done around here," McCollister said. "Barry (Litteral) is indispensable. Todd Knipp is a good, young coach. Fred Evans coached for a lot of years and Dave Pyles was here when we got it turned around.

"The head coach gets too much credit when you win and too much blame when you lose. And the assistant coaches do an awful lot. We have some good young coaches."

McCollister admitted he will miss coaching, but he feels good about the program as he walks away.

"It was a lot of fun and hopefully we taught the kids a few things. We won some games and some championships. Hopefully, things will continue," McCollister said.