ARHTUR (WCIA) — Don McCarthy just can’t get enough football. McCarthy is the assistant coach for the Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond football team, and is now in his 49th year of coaching.
“I think this has kind of been my passion in life, my calling in life–I guess you might wanna call it that,” says McCarthy. “I didn’t want to sit around doing anything, and this is what I enjoy doing.”
McCarthy is now retired, but has been in Arthur since the 1970’s, when he got his first job teaching job at the elementary school. He had a 15 year stint as head coach with the Knights, earning 55 wins before stepping down in 2003. The 70-year old is still on the ALAH sideline today.
“I’ve known most of these kids for a long time, and I think the thing you really like is to see the kids develop throughout the years, says McCarthy. “Just watch them grow and watch them improve, and see them reach their full potential.”
“Anything I need, he’s there for me,” says current head coach Ryan Jefferson. “It’s just been awesome to kind of ping questions off of him and learn from his experience.”
“It’s really amazing to know that I’m coached under one of the greats that’s been around the program for years,” says linebacker Jack Martin. “I feel I’ve become a much better player thanks to him.”
McCarthy made program history in 1995, coaching the Knights to their ever first playoff appearance. They have a chance to get to there again this season, for the first time in 5 years.
“They’ve shown a lot of improvement throughout the year and have kept on improving which is a mark of a good team,” says McCarthy. “Hopefully we can continue doing that the rest of the season.”
The Knights have already qualified for the playoffs with five wins, but need six to guarantee a spot. It could be McCarthy’s 9th playoff appearance with the nights, if they can beat Villa-Grove-Heritage on Friday Night.