Annapolis' Brady one win shy of milestone

24-year coach could earn 500th victory tonight

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 31, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

While the clock is ticking toward career win No. 500, it is also ticking on the end of a teaching career, and possibly toward a change to a new sport.

John Brady, the 24-year boys basketball coach of No. 5 Annapolis (13-1), takes a career record of 499-91 into tonight's 5:15 game at No. 12 Meade (10-4). Brady's Panthers defeated visiting Old Mill yesterday, 91-68.

This could be Brady's last season as Annapolis coach, but it won't be his last coaching as he ponders a switch to girls basketball. It probably will be his last teaching.

"I may retire from teaching after this year, but stay on to coach," said Brady, 53. "I never make a decision until the year is over, but I doubt if I will do both next year.

"And I might even assist [Annapolis football coach] Roy Brown if he would have me. But while I may retire from teaching, I won't be retiring from coaching. When I leave Annapolis as a coach, I intend to pursue something else."

This year Brady is coaching his daughter Erin's recreation girls team. So, is it his goal to coach his daughter in high school? She'll be a freshman in two years.

"I would not be opposed to that, if Erin wants to pursue basketball," said Brady. "I would definitely consider it because I enjoy teaching the game."

While he won't reveal the schools, Brady said he has talked to a couple of athletic directors in the metro area about coaching their girls basketball team.

Brady, who ranks ninth on the state's overall winningest coaches list, is about to become just the fifth Maryland public school coach to rack up 500 career wins and the second in Anne Arundel County history.

"The 500 wins belong to the teams and over 300 players I've had in 24 years, and I've been part of it," said Brady, a graduate of Mount St. Joseph High and the University of Maryland who has won one state title (1990), 14 region and 18 county titles.

Southern of Harwood's Tom Albright, who is in his 36th season, last year became the first Anne Arundel coach to reach the 500-victory milestone. He has a 509-315 record for a .618 winning percentage.

The only other active public school coach ahead of Brady is Thomas Johnson's Tom Dickman, who has a 536-128 mark (.807) as he completes his 27th season in Frederick County.

Dickman is second only to Allegany's retired Bill Bowers, who is believed to have posted more than 550 wins during the 1930s and '40s.

Brady, however, holds the distinction of reaching 500 wins faster than any public school coach in Maryland history. His .846 career winning percentage ranks No. 1 for public school coaches.

Dickman was 478-119 after his 24th season.

On the overall state coaches list, Brady's winning percentage ranks second only to the .868 by legendary DeMatha coach Morgan Wootten, who is the nation's all-time winningest coach.

Wootten, in his 45th season, will look to improve to 1,230-187 in tonight's game against his son Joe Wootten's Bishop O'Connell team.

Brady won't be hanging around for 45 years, at least not coaching boys.

"My initial intention was to coach three or four years in football and basketball and then land a college job," said Brady, who started coaching at Andover High in 1970 as an assistant in both football and basketball.

When the late Big Al Laramore stepped down as head basketball coach after the 1976-77 season, Brady applied for and got the position. Three or four years turned into 24.

"I have no regrets not getting into college coaching," said Brady, who has been a marketing and business teacher for 31 years in the Anne Arundel County system.

"I've been happy with my career at Annapolis because of the players I've had. It was the right thing for me, but I admit I could be getting to the end of the line."

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