Oak. Mills' Appleby ends 312-win reign

Coach resigns after 8 trips to state semis in 21 years

Boys basketball

March 28, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Dave Appleby has resigned after 21 years as Oakland Mills boys basketball coach.

Appleby, whose 312-177 record is the second-best ever in Howard County, ranking behind only Frank Rhodes (329-153 at Atholton and Wilde Lake), coached one state championship team in 1990 and teams that made the state finals in 1995 and 2001. His teams made the state semifinals eight times.

The Scorpions won five straight county titles from 1988 through 1992, and seven in all under Appleby, who began his coaching career in 1982-83 at Oakland Mills with 10 straight winning seasons. The last county title was in 1998-99.

His teams had only three losing seasons, in 1992-93, 1993-94 and this past season when the Scorpions were 6-15. Their worst record was in 1993-94 at 5-15.

"There comes a time when you realize that what you are doing is not meeting the needs of the kids and it's time for a change," Appleby said. "I still enjoy coaching and would like to continue if another situation would arise that would be more compatible."

Appleby, a guidance counselor at Elkridge Elementary, experienced a change in job responsibilities in the past year and sometimes was unable to ride the team bus to afternoon games.

"Oakland Mills has been great, and I thank the administration for its support over the years," he said. "I wish the school and the kids well and hope a new coach can re-energize the program."

Among the highlights Appleby will remember are winning the state title in 1990, upsetting Pikesville in overtime in the state semifinals in 2001 and almost upsetting Dunbar two years ago in the playoffs.

"And I think winning five straight county titles is a record that will stand for a while," he said.

He coached a lot of good players, including Michael Hammond, Coleman Scott, Irving Conwell, Anthony Breland and Murray Graves.

"Oakland Mills athletics appreciates his contributions and all the success the basketball team has enjoyed under his tenure," said Scorpions athletic director Ken Hovet.

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