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Published: Thursday, 4/30/2009

Sidelines: Lauwers ends 42-year run as Monroe St. Mary coach

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Lauwers Lauwers
JETTA FRASER/THE TOLEDO BLADE / THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Photo

MONROE Ray Lauwers has resigned as boys basketball coach at Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, ending one of the most impressive runs in Michigan history.

Lauwers, who spent 42seasons (1967-2009) guiding the Falcons, and 46 overall as a head coach, exits ranked either third or fourth in victories among Michigan boys basketball coaches.

He takes credit only for his 615-295 record (which ranks him fifth) at SMCC, because the exact record for his four-year run at the former Detroit Annunciation High School (1963-67) cannot be verified. Lauwers best guess is 17 wins there, but he has found no way of confirming the exact record, and says that fact is of no significance to him.

I d rather not get credit for something I did than get credit for something I didn t do, said Lauwers, who made his decision to resign back in November but chose to keep it to himself.

Hoping to avoid any extra attention from stepping down, Lauwers notified the school and his players just before embarking on a mission trip he made with SMCC students.

There were three main reasons I decided to retire from coaching now, Lauwers said. I wanted to get out while I could still do the job sufficiently and not still be hanging on after I couldn t do that. Second, we ve got people here, where if things fall into place, will do a great job of continuing things. And third, we ve got some decent talent coming back next year, and I didn t want to leave when the cupboard was bare for someone else.

Lauwers said the highlight of his coaching career at SMCC was that his players always competed hard. He said he was most grateful for the many players he had over the years who weren t stars, but were willing to accept lesser roles.

They did so much to help the team be successful, said Lauwers, who had 36 winning seasons, including seven 20-win seasons. I will miss coaching, but my personality is such that I tend to stay busy no matter what time of year it is.

Lauwers will remain at SMCC as a teacher.



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