QHS turning to familiar name to guide boys basketball program; School Board to vote tonight
Liberty coach Andy Douglas, right, celebrates with Evan Schreacke after the Eagles' 60-39 victory over Payson Seymour in the Class 1A West Central Regional in March. Douglas will be named as coach at Quincy High School tonight. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Posted: May. 8, 2014 8:21 am Updated: May. 22, 2014 9:14 am
By MATT SCHUCKMAN Herald-Whig Sports Editor
Only twice in the 107-year history of the Quincy High School boys basketball program has a former player returned as the head coach.
It will happen for a third time Thursday night.
Sources have confirmed Liberty coach Andy Douglas’ name will be presented to the Quincy School Board for approval as the 22nd head coach in program history. The board announced Tuesday it was scheduling a special meeting, with an agenda item to “consider/approve appointment of boys basketball coach.”
The board’s approval of Douglas’ hire is expected to be a formality, since a press conference has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday in Blue Devil Gym with players, parents and fans welcome.
Douglas’ hiring comes 43 days after the board voted 6-0 with one abstention to terminate the coaching contract of Sean Taylor after 11 seasons. The Blue Devils went 194-107 during Taylor’s tenure, winning four regional titles and five Western Big Six Conference championships.
However, Quincy has not won a regional title since 2009. The five-year title drought is the longest in school history.
The school administration is asking Douglas, a 2000 QHS graduate who spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Liberty, to help restore the glory to one of the nation’s winningest high school programs. Quincy ranks fourth in the nation in all-time victories behind Dobyns-Bennett of Kingsport, Tenn., Centralia, Ill., and Collinsville, Ill.
While at Liberty, a Class 1A school, Douglas led the Eagles to an 83-36 record and two regional championships. Before taking the job at Liberty, Douglas was an assistant coach on the QHS varsity team.
Douglas, who teaches physical education at Washington School in Quincy, was a two-year starter at shooting guard and set the school record for 3-pointers made in a season with 68 his senior year. He helped the Blue Devils reach the Class AA super-sectional in 2000 when they finished with a 25-5 record.
It was the last time the Blue Devils reached the super-sectional, and no team over the last 15 seasons has won as many games.
Douglas is one of only six players in program history with 100 or more 3-pointers made in a career — he made 101 — and he finished with 735 career points.
He’s also part of the most recognizable family in Blue Devil history.
Bruce Douglas was the point guard on the 1981 state championship team, was named Mr. Basketball in 1982 and enjoyed a stellar career at the University of Illinois. Keith Douglas led QHS to a second-place state finish in 1979. Dennis Douglas was an all-state forward.
Douglas’ father, Jerry, is the oldest member of the Douglas family to play basketball for QHS. He was a member of the 1968-69 and 1969-70 teams.
Overall, 13 sons and grandsons of Claydine and the late Melvin Douglas played for the Blue Devils, combining for 9,228 points and 475 victories.
Douglas joins Leaton Kuchman and Derrick “Boots” Bush as the only QHS products to coach the Blue Devils.
Kuchmann graduated from QHS in 1913 and coached the team to a 4-8 record in 1915. Bush played at QHS from 1927-29 and returned as the head coach for the 1944-45 season, leading the Blue Devils to a third-place finish at the state tournament.
It is one of 13 state trophies the program has won.