A decade ago, when former Quincy High School boys basketball coach Loren Wallace retired, many fans believed the most logical replacement was coaching just across town.
In their eyes, it was time for Scott Douglas to come home.
What they failed to realize is he already was home.
A 1983 graduate of QHS who spent eight years coaching football, basketball and baseball in the QHS system, Douglas earned his first chance to run his own program in 1996 when Quincy Notre Dame hired him to replace Tony Ryndak as the boys basketball coach.
By the time QHS was looking for its next coach, Douglas had taken the Raiders to the Class A state tournament, won seven straight regional championships and turned QND into the area's best small-school program.
It made him a hot commodity.
He debated whether to apply when QHS opened up its coaching search. His athletic roots were at QHS, where he played three sports and was part of the Blue Devils' 64-game winning streak and the 1982 team that finished third in the Class AA state tournament.
"It is a program I grew up in," Douglas said at the time he applied. "It is a program I have strong feelings for."
Douglas was one of five finalists to interview for the QHS job, and many assumed he was the odds-on favorite. Quietly, there was some disappointment when Sean Taylor got the job. Douglas wouldn't have applied had he not wanted the job or at least entertained thoughts he would take the job.
What he ultimately realized is he didn't need that job.
He needed to stay put.
Sure, basketball played a part in that. The Raiders finished third at the Class A state tournament in 2004, one of the highlights of a 17-year coaching career that ended Thursday when Douglas officially announced his resignation.
What played a bigger part was the family Douglas surrounded himself with.
His players, his assistant coaches, his students, his colleagues. They became his extended family, as if his family wasn't big enough already.
Scott and his wife, Amy, have seven kids and one grand-daughter, all of whom have felt like they are part of the basketball program. Some of his strongest emotions were displayed when he talks about how his players embraced his kids, and his kids embraced the players.
"It's something special when you see how they've made this into a family," Douglas said. "It touches your heart."
In turn, Douglas has touched so many lives with his coaching, his caring and his belief that life is bigger than the game.
He coached with passion and high expectations, and he found a way to make high school boys want to do more than reach their potential.
They wanted to exceed it.
Usually, they did.
Whoever is hired to replace Douglas won't have to look far for support, advice or a friendly face. They simply will have to walk down the hall to Douglas' classroom, where he'll be teaching the values of faith, family and commitment to students who are made to feel like they are part of his family.
That's because QND forever will be his home.