By the end of one of the best seasons in program history, the decision was all but made in Bailey McGinnis' mind. A few weeks spent at home with her family helped make it certain.
McGinnis announced Wednesday that she is stepping down as Red Bank's girls' basketball coach after six seasons.
"I had been giving it a lot of thought, and after our last game I felt like this was the right decision for me and our family," McGinnis said. "It was a very tough decision. I've made so many great memories with the girls, but this time at home during the quarantine has been an eye-opener and really helped me know it's what I need to do.
"My daughter (Collins) will be 4 in July, and I'm not going to get that time back. A coach spends more time with your team than your own family because you leave for school in the mornings while it's still dark and don't get back home from a game or practice until well after dark. I knew I would never regret stepping away to spend more time with my family."
As a player, McGinnis was a three-time all-district and all-region performer, and she was a Times Free Press Best of Preps selection during her senior season. The 2010 Red Bank graduate took over her at her high school alma mater after the Lady Lions won just six games the season before, and she quickly built them into one of the city's most successful and consistent teams, compiling a 117-60 overall record.
Last season Red Bank won 28 games and reached the Class AA sectional round for the first time in 25 years, leading to her being named coach of the year for Best of Preps girls' basketball. The Lady Lions beat rival Signal Mountain for the District 6 regular-season and tournament championships and finished as Region 3 tournament runners-up to Meigs County before falling one win shy of reaching the state tournament.
Red Bank has had five straight winning seasons, including a 70-22 mark over the past three seasons.
"I always wanted my kids to grow up in the gym, but at the same time I want to be able to be with them, and that's awfully tough with the time you need to spend coaching," McGinnis said. "I had dreamed of turning a program around, so to have the chance to do that at my alma mater is pretty special.
"When I got here they had won just six games the year before, had one rack of basketballs and only $93 in the team's bank account. I feel like we have done a lot of positive things to get the program back up and going in the right direction. I've had a basketball in my hands since I was 4 years old, so I'm sure when the new season starts it will be tough and I'm going to miss it."