Emery Roy earned another milestone Saturday in a gym where he earned his first batch of them.
The legendary high school girls basketball coach led Rocky Mountain to a 50-34 victory Saturday at Meridian High, clinching the 800th victory of his career in the gym where he started his coaching career in 1978.
“It was kind of cool coming back and getting it where you started,” Roy said. “You never know where you’re going to end up. So it turned out pretty nice.”
The win lifts Roy’s career record to 800-149 — an .843 winning percentage — in his 38th year as a girls basketball coach in the Treasure Valley.
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He first started racking up victories at Meridian, leading the Warriors to four straight titles between 1980-83, banners that hung over his head Saturday as he sat on the opposing bench.
Roy then moved to Centennial when it opened in 1987, where he won his 700th game in 2011. He also won five state championships with the Patriots, giving him nine personal titles. No other boys or girls basketball coach in Idaho history has won more than seven state titles.
He became Rocky Mountain’s coach in 2012 to join his son, Dane Roy, the school’s boys basketball coach.
“You never think about, when you start, any number or anything,” Roy said. “I just kept getting closer and closer. When I hit 700, I didn’t think I’d ever coach to 800.”
Roy retired as a teacher 12 years ago. He said he originally planned to give up coaching when his wife, Penny Andrew, reached retirement. But she convinced him to keep coaching, partly to get him out of the house, Roy joked.
“Maybe I should have, but I never said this is where I’m going to stop,” Roy said. “I just keep looking to next year. It’s been fun. I’ve enjoyed it and it gives me something to do other than sitting around. We’ll see what happens.”
Roy, who will only admit he’s “as old as dirt” when asked his age, said he has no plans to stop coaching anytime soon. But he laughed at the notion of reaching of 900 wins.
“I wouldn’t say 900,” he said.