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Baylor School track and field coach Bill McMahan will retire at the end of the current season, he announced Wednesday.

McMahan, who will continue working as Baylor's middle school athletic director, has coached boys' and girls' varsity track since 1991.

"I will miss the competition, but as I've gotten older and, hopefully, wiser, I've learned that winning or losing is not the most important thing," McMahan said. "It's the relationships that you build with your coaches and, more importantly, the kids.

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Bill McMahan
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"When someone comes back for a reunion, 10 or 15 years down the road, they're not going to remember how high they jumped or how fast they ran; they're going to remember their teammates and the interaction they had with their coaches. It took me a while to understand how important that is."

A 1967 graduate of Baylor, McMahan returned as a teacher and coach in 1974. He became an assistant varsity football coach in 1977 and worked in that role for 31 seasons.

In track, Baylor girls' teams have won seven state championships under his leadership — including four in a row (2008-11) — and a runner-up trophy. The Lady Red Raiders also have 20 region titles, 10 Southeastern Optimist championships and seven Mid-South titles with McMahan. His Baylor boys' teams have won two state championships and were runners-up twice, also winning three region titles, three Mid-South titles and two Optimist championships.

McMahan has been named the Chattanooga area's track coach of the year 14 times in his 28 years as head coach, and in 2008 he received the A.F. Bridges Coach of the Year award from the TSSAA in recognition of good sportsmanship and citizenship. He was named the state's coach of the year for 2009-10. In 2012, he was inducted into the Baylor Sports Hall of Fame and the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame.

"What his teams and athletes have accomplished is nothing short of phenomenal," said Baylor headmaster Scott Wilson. "We are blessed that Coach McMahan will remain on our faculty, but his presence at the track every day will be deeply missed, especially by his athletes."

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.

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