rasnick

Wayne Rasnick coached the boys to a 12-13 record last year.

Some things are just more important than basketball.

That reality led to Wayne Rasnick’s decision on Tuesday to step down as the boys basketball coach at Virginia High. He will definitely miss roaming the sidelines for the Bearcats.

“Absolutely,” he said. “When you have been involved in athletics your entire life, you will miss that part of it, but there are other things that need to be taken care of right now.”

Rasnick completed his second three-year stint with the Bearcats last season, leading Virginia High to a 12-13 record, a campaign highlighted by Gavin Austin setting a school record with 51 points in a win over Honaker.

He also coached Virginia High from 2010-13, guiding the Bearcats to the Group A, Division 2 state semifinals in 2012, earning state coach of the year honors along the way. He also led Virginia High on another postseason run in 2013, falling in regional play to state powerhouse Radford.

“He has done a great job for us. He brings consistency and knowledge of the game,” Virginia High athletic director Brad Harper said. “He is a great teacher, but he just did a great job of building relationships with the kids and taking care of kids and getting them to learn and love the game of basketball.”

Rasnick isn’t leaving Virginia High. He will continue to serve as chairman of the social studies department.

“I love Virginia High. At the end of the day that is the bottom line for me,” Rasnick said. “I love the kids, a great faculty and staff to work with, and, of course, I will be working with them every day, hopefully real soon if we get back to normal. Virginia High has been very good to me. I enjoy working in Bristol.”

Harper is certainly glad to hear that news.

“He is still going to be a valuable member of our faculty. He does a great job in the classroom as well,” Harper said. “As an assistant principal, I am grateful we get to keep him in that role. As an athletic director, we will certainly miss him in our department in those respects.

“I think he will still be there for the kids. I think he will help whoever we are able to hire and tell them what he knows about the program and share and help in any way he can. He is just that type of guy. He is a great coach, he is a great teacher and an even better person.

“He just wants what is best for the kids. Just due to some things that are going on in his life, a lot of things more important than basketball, he just made the decision that he felt was in his best interests and we certainly support that.”

The 53-year-old Rasnick, who has also had coaching success at St. Paul and Castlewood, is confident that the Virginia High program is in good shape for whoever takes his place.

“We have got a good middle school group coming up. We had an excellent JV team, they were well-coached this year coming up,” Rasnick said. “We are going to be young, but the program is in good shape. The cupboard is not bare by any stretch.”

Harper hopes to get the position posted soon, with high hopes for the future of Virginia High boys basketball.

“We have always been fortunate to have a strong candidate field. I think it is all about finding the best fit for Virginia High School, for our boys basketball program and for our school and our school division,” Harper said. “We hopefully will get a lot of qualified applicants and be able to go through the process to find the right fit.”

Rasnick isn’t closing the door on a possible return to coaching in the future, but that decision can wait for now.

“We will just see what the future holds on that,” he said. “Life will dictate stuff like that.”

bwoodson@bristolnews.com | Twitter: BHCWoodson | (276) 645-2543

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