After Bishop Miege head coach Terry English won his 800th game last Friday, it was about as low-key of an affair as he could have hoped for.
There was no confetti, no celebration, no commemorative plaque: just a win on the scoreboard (62-45 against McPherson) and a few friends and family patting him on the back.
“We were on the road, three hours away, so there weren’t a whole lot of people there,” English said. “I knew the opposing coaches pretty well, so they congratulated me. It was a nice night, and I didn’t need anything more than that. I liked it just the way it went.”
English may downplay his high number of wins, but he is still one of the most successful coaches in Kansas high school basketball history. His 800 wins put him in the top 15 nationally among active coaches.
But to English? That 800th one isn’t much more special than the first, 47th or 398th ones were.
“One of my managers asked me yesterday, ‘Is there a difference between your 800th win and your first win?’” English said. “And I said, ‘Well, no.’ It feels about the same.”
Of course, there are some wins in there that have been more emotional. In addition to 800 total wins, English also has a bevy of Kansas state titles. In his 40 years at Miege, nearly half of those seasons have ended with English’s team raising the trophy. He’s accumulated 19 state championships, including three straight in Class 4A-DI.
Miege has also won 63 games in a row, dating back to the 2013-14 season. The Stags have closed out two straight years with perfect 25-0 records attached to their state titles.
That undefeated streak marches on into the 2016 season, and English will attempt to lead Miege to a 20th state title. The Stags are 3-0 to start the year, and have the Hy-Vee Shootout next on the schedule. They’ll take on Lee’s Summit North on Friday at 4 p.m.
“With the streak we’re on right now, my satisfaction is knowing that what we’ve done is pretty difficult, especially with the schedule we play,” he said. “It’s been a nice ride, and it’s going to come to an end at some point; we all know that. One of these times it’s going to end. But then hopefully we’ll just start a new streak right after that.”