After a career that spanned four decades, Doug Armstrong decided it was time to step away. Armstrong announced his decision Monday, retiring as boys' basketball coach and athletic director at McMinn Central, where he spent the last 29 of his 40-year career.
"When you've done something for as long as I have, you reach a point where you start thinking about how much longer you want to continue doing it, and I just reached a point where I felt like it was time," Armstrong said. "I know I'll miss the relationship with the kids, getting to celebrate big wins and the fun of seeing them every day at practice and for games.
"But it's time for me to retire and let someone else to take over."
Amstrong, a 1976 McMinn Central graduate, began his coaching career at Union County one year after graduating from college. He later spent seven seasons as Ooltewah's head coach before taking over the program at his alma mater in 1991.
"By the time I took over at Ooltewah, I was 25 and already had four years head coaching experience," Armstrong added. "That's something that doesn't happen very often."
He compiled a career record of 592-338, including 425 wins with the Chargers (211-43 against district competition) and won district championships in 14 of his 21 seasons at his alma mater. Twice he guided the Chargers to a No. 1 ranking in the state's Class AA polls, also making five sectional appearances and three trips to the state tournament and winning two region titles.
He also coached the Chargers golf program, winning 10 district titles and making three state tournament appearances. He had 21 golfers qualify for the individual state tournament as well.