Denny McHenry smiles proudly in the press room with his senior athletes Gracie Gorman, Maci McHenry, Sydney Dunavant, Taylor Overstreet and Jordyn Gault after winning the Class 4 third-place game.

In April, Logan-Rogersville head girls basketball and softball coach Denny McHenry announced that he would be stepping down from his position with the basketball team, and the district chose Missouri State University’s director of basketball operations, Matt Bolger, to take over for the team.

Though McHenry’s departure is a change that’s sure to shake up the Wildcats’ program, it could have been an even larger transition. In a recent interview with The Mail, McHenry revealed that his original plan was to fully retire.

“When I took the girls job five years ago, my plan was really to retire this year,” said McHenry. “This was my 30th year in education, and to retire when my daughter [Lady Wildcats’ forward Maci McHenry] graduated would make sense. Then that plan changed because I enjoy my job.”

Instead, McHenry will stay on as softball coach and continue his work as the director of the district’s CLICK (Community Leadership to Ignite Career Knowledge) Academy. He will vacate the girls basketball team with a historic feather in his cap, having coached the only Lady Wildcats squad to ever reach the state final four last season. A third-place finish in Missouri Class 4 is also not too shabby.

“I just kind of wanted to go out as my daughter graduated,” said McHenry. “And I don’t know, other than a state championship, what better way could I have gone out than what we did?”

The main reason for his departure from girls basketball, though, was a matter of choosing a direction for his energy and focus. McHenry admitted to feeling spread thin with responsibilities across two sports.

“Being the head coach of softball in the fall, then girls basketball in the winter and back to middle school softball in the spring, I just felt like I wasn’t doing a very good job with our youth programs, and I wasn’t able to spend as much time with our elementary programs as I needed to.”

Ultimately, he chose softball, where he has had an 11-year stint with the program.

Still, his time with the basketball program will be remembered fondly, both by the Rogersville community and by McHenry himself.

“My five years with our girls basketball program was wonderful,” he said. “I couldn’t even anticipated it being any better than it was. We won over a hundred games. I had great girls, I had great parents,- and I had great community support. That’s just Rogersville for ya.”

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