TRCC Coach Bess reflects on 1,200 win career - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

TRCC Coach Bess reflects on 1,200 win career

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

Coach Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of Duke Basketball, has gained national attention recently for reaching 1,000 wins.

But one Heartland college basketball coach has that record beat by more than 200 wins.

Coach Gene Bess, at Three Rivers Community College, reached 1,000 wins in 2000. Even though that's certainly an important milestone, he said to him, coaching is about a lot more than what happens on the court.

“What helps us most is he's such a great person,” Raider Basketball Player Domonique Alexander said.

Not many people know Coach Bess better than his players.

“It's just amazing how much he cares about us and how much he loves us,” Alexander said.

There's no question that Coach Bess loves the sport and his team.

“As much as he can, he wants to be on the court, coaching the players, he coaches every minute,” Manager Willie Hilburn said.

“[The team is] the most important group of people imaginable to me, second to my family, of course,” Coach Bess said.

Coach Bess has been a Raider for 45 years. His dedication has paid off more than once. Now, Bess has more than 1,200 wins.

Duke Head Basketball Coach, “Coach K” recently reached his 1,000 wins. Bess calls him a great coach.

“He gets the most out of his players. No one can do any more than that,” Bess said.

Even though Bess has surpassed 1,200 wins, Bess said that's not the record he's concerned about.

“My philosophy has always been that the next game is the only game that's important,” Bess said.

His team members tells me Bess isn't only great at making better players, but also better people.

“He just teaches us good moral values just to put God first between everything and that's the reason he's so successful,” Alexander said.

“He's trying to teach them life lessons and trying to prepare them for life after college and after basketball,” Assistant Coach Brian Bess said.

Off the court, I'm told Bess is more than a coach.

“You want to have someone that you can go to when you're going through something in life that may not even deal with basketball,” Assistant Coach Bryan Sherrer said.

On the court, Bess accredits much of his success to his coaching staff, the school, and community. But he said his greatest accomplishments are those that come from the success of his players.

“The greatest compliment I ever get is when some player who has spent two years here says it was the two toughest years they've ever spent but it was the two most gratifying years,” Coach Bess said.

He's a humbler leader whom many call a legend.

“I'm just blessed to be a part of it,” Coach Bess said.

Coach Bess also holds the record for the most wins for any college basketball coach, but he said, to him, his best record is being able to stay in the Poplar Bluff community for 45 years.

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