Hollis has fond memories of 21 years as head coach

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Messenger Photo/Mike Hensley Carl Hollis spent 21 years as head basketball coach at Charles Henderson. On April 18 it was announced that former middle school coach Shelby Tuck would be taking over the program.

Messenger Photo/Mike Hensley
Carl Hollis spent 21 years as head basketball coach at Charles Henderson. On April 18 it was announced that former middle school coach Shelby Tuck would be taking over the program.

Former Charles Henderson High School coach Carl Hollis put his heart and soul into the Trojans during his 21 years on the bench and 38 years at the school. He says he loved every player he coached, that’s why the end of his tenure as coach has been difficult, he said.

On April 18 it was announced that Hollis had resigned from his coaching duties at Charles Henderson following his team’s exit in the playoffs in March. During the Troy Board of Education meeting last week, former Charles Henderson Middle School coach Shelby Tuck was named head coach.

Hollis said reports of his resignation are false.

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“On March 3, I was told that it was time for a change,” Hollis said. “That’s what they did. They gave me a letter of termination as head basketball coach.”

Charles Henderson principal Brent Harrison said it was a misunderstanding between the school and Hollis.

“We just felt like a change needed to be made,” Harrison said. “The discrepancy was how the changes were to be announced. We were under the impression that he wanted to submit a resignation letter. Obviously that is not what came out and that is not what happened. We are very thankful for everything that he has done for us here at the school and in the community.”

Hollis admits there were times when resigning entered his mind, but he said he could never go through with it. After coaching his players to never quit and never to give up, Hollis wanted to live up to his teachings.

“I coached a lot of kids that look up to me,” Hollis said. “I taught them how to fight and to be a fighter. I couldn’t do it. That’s a sign of quitting and I don’t quit anything that I start. I thank God that I didn’t because that is not in my character.”

Hollis said his regional titles and final four appearances speak for themselves.

“I am not ashamed of being terminated,” Hollis said. “ I feel within myself that I have done a heck of a job at Charles Henderson as well as in the community. I am grateful for 21 years and for the kids that I have coached.”

Despite how things ended between Hollis and the school, he still believes he had the opportunity coach and teach at one of the finest high schools in the state of Alabama.

Because of that Hollis has no regrets about coaching the game he loves as long as he did at Charles Henderson.

“It has been a blessing,” Hollis said. “I haven’t had all the favortism of the parents of the kids that I coach, and I didn’t expect to because I am a coach. If you give me a job at coaching basketball, let me coach basketball. For 21 years I have been able to do that at Charles Henderson … I am grateful for the opportunity, but am I happy with how it ended after 38 years I would say no.”

Hollis said he will move on now. “Grow into another phase of my life. I have a beautiful wife at home, I have grandchildren. I thank God for a wonderful church family and for a community that has been supportive at times and unsupportive at times.”

Hollis said the team will be in good hands with Tuck, who has coached at the middle school for five seasons. The men have a connection that dates back to when Tuck was in middle school.

“Shelby is going to be a great coach,” Hollis said. “I expect him to do a great job and take those kids that I have worked with over the last few years and win with them. He can do it, I think he will do a great job and I expect no less. If he does any less, he will have to hear from me.”

Hollis said he will continue to look and wait for his next opportunity.

“I am praying right now,” Hollis said. “I have a strange life and the strangeness is I have never filled out an application for a job. The Lord has always opened the door for me … I trust him and I am waiting for him to direct what I am to do from here.”

Harrison said the change in coaching position does not affect Hollis’ teaching position.

“This does not affect his teaching status in any way shape for form,” Harrison said. “He is still the principal at the alternative school.”