OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - For one Kentucky girls high school basketball program, a coach’s magnificent career is nearing its end as former Apollo head coach and current E-Gals assistant coach, Willis McClure, is set to retire after 50 seasons.
”We’ve got five seniors and that’s one reason I stayed around,” McClure said. “I wanted to see them through. Once these seniors graduate, this is the best time for me to ride off into the sunset.”
McClure has been a staple for girls basketball in Kentucky. He led a dynasty at Apollo in the 1990s before taking the head coaching job at South Spencer in 2017. McClure then joined former Apollo player, Natalie Payne, at Daviess County before they both returned to the Apollo program.
“He’s done so much for me and for these girls over these past few years and it’s just been a blessing to coach alongside him,” Payne, the current Apollo head coach said.
“I played for him at Apollo and it’s just been a dream come true to learn from him. He’s been such a mentor and we are playing for him because we know this is it. 50 years of his time that he’s put in - blood, sweat and tears - so these girls are playing for him.”
The E-Gals (12-6) will look to give McClure one last 9th District title on Friday night as Apollo is set to face Owensboro Catholic (14-10) in the championship game. Tip-off at the Owensboro Sportscenter is slated for 7 p.m.