ELMA — After 14 years as the head boys basketball coach and almost three decades of coaching at Elma High School, Marvin Prince has decided to step away from the program.
Prince, a 1983 Elma graduate, said it was a difficult decision to put down the whistle, but one he felt was in the best interest of himself, his family and the Elma basketball program.
“It was a difficult decision, but one that I did make on my own terms,” Prince said. “I’ve loved every bit of the opportunities the Elma School District has given me and the great kids that were there and we have a lot of great memories. We’ve had some tough ones, but we had a lot of great memories as well.”
The amount of time required to be successful was one of the main reason’s Prince cited for stepping down at this juncture. Prince married his wife, Melissa, in September and said with each one of them operating a separate business that the moments spent together have taken a new importance.
“Our time is precious and we want to go and enjoy a few more things in life and coaching takes an awful lot of time,” Prince said. “We’ve reached some pretty good heights when you look at qualifying for districts and some other things, but the pressure was on myself. I want to be successful and I want the kids to be successful. I just felt like a change of direction for them would be a good thing. I’ve had the support of the school and the kids, I just want to see them have success and I don’t have the time that is needed to give them that success.”
Prince said his basketball education began on the playgrounds and blacktop courts around Elma and he always had pride in giving back to the community which has given him so much.
He took over the position of freshman boys coach in 1989 and worked his way up through the ranks as junior varsity coach under two different coaches before taking over as the head boys basketball coach for the 2003-04 season.
The 2009-10 season, Prince’s best as far as record at 12-9, stood out as one of the best moments of his career for the coach, who cited the dedication of his players during summer basketball and throughout the season as unforgettable.
“What I will miss most is just the relationships that you develop with the kids,” Prince said. “I will still bleed the blue. I’m a diehard Elma guy and that is probably the hardest thing is knowing you won’t have that anticipation of the season coming up. That joy and elation to wear that blue and white was something pretty special and I would say that coaching was the same way.
“My main focus was to try and get Elma back on the map and I haven’t been able to do it for whatever reason,” Prince said. “I’m excited to see where Elma is going to go in the future. A change does everybody good.”