Being a coach is more than just filling a position and earning a steady income, it’s a responsibility held, and one that forces you to better yourself, as well as those that stand before you.
“The day that you start to believe you are truly good at something, is the day that you stop being good at it,” Keith Boucher, the Keene State College women’s head basketball coach, said.
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Boucher, entering his twenty-third year of coaching KSC’s women’s basketball team, has created a legacy that will live on in the years to come.
Boucher notched his three-hundreth win in the 2010-2011 season, along with his second consecutive 20 win season, and an ECAC championship.
“Boucher has established himself as one of the most diligent coaches that Keene State has to offer,” Athletic Director John Ratliff said.
Ratliff summed up Boucher in three words. “Does his homework,” Ratliff said.
“Anyone who spends a week playing for Boucher will see that it is his preparation that makes him a success as a coach,” Ratliff continued.
Boucher has been known to spend an extensive amount of time preparing and working with his team to put the most intense and dedicated group of five on the floor.
To get to a position that is equivalent to Boucher’s, one must wonder how it has come to be.
“Today so many people confuse heroes with celebrities,” Boucher said.
Boucher said how he had once wanted to be everything that OJ Simpson stood for.
But soon after, Boucher said he realized that Simpson was just a public figure, rather than a role model.
“A hero is someone who you can touch you and someone that can touch you back,” Boucher said.
The people who had truly lead him to be a coach were the ones closest to him; his former coaches and teachers he had along the way.
“The people are more important that the players,” Boucher said.
Coucher said he has had a new theme throughout the year, and he stresses it to all of his players.
“You are a winner if today you have become better than you were yesterday,” Boucher said.
Throughout his career Boucher said he has made sure, that first and foremost his players are good people. Additionally, he said he has made sure that they are good students and good basketball players.
“If the first two are accomplished, the third will come easily, because that’s something you love to do,” Boucher said.
“My high school coach is the exact opposite of my college coach,” freshman Jaime Boyatsis said. “Coach Boucher is more up in your face and intense, whereas my high school coach was more mellow and relaxed.”
Boyatsis mentioned the ethics and morals that Boucher stresses.
“He wants us to be respectful and hold ourselves to a higher standard, for the fact that he only wants to hear good things about his team, as well as wanting us to be successful people after basketball,” Boyatsis said. “He says that this is the way Keene State should be represented because outsiders will see the people, before the players.”
Boucher explained how he would like to be remembered as a coach.
“I would like people to look at me and say that I have a great work ethic. Whether it took one hour or 24 hours, they would be confident that I would take as much time as it took to get the job done,” Boucher said. “But more than anything else, they would know that I cared more about the people than I did the result.”
He stated that he hates to lose more than he loves to win.
“The ultimate win for me is when I can call my players years later, and see them doing something for themselves,” Boucher said. “At the end of the day, I hope people think that I have sent ambassadors out into the world. All my players who go out and use their degrees, are Keene State’s ambassadors.”
Boucher expressed his feelings through an analogy.
“I think we are all dominos,” Boucher said. “Our job is to propel somebody and knock one more over, and send them on their path to do something special for somebody else, and then propel them onward. That is what we are all here for, because if you’re here for yourself, then you are in it for the wrong reasons.”
Lucas Flood can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org