One of the areas most successful basketball coaches talks about his journey and career

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SPRINGFIELD, Fla (WJHG/WECP) - "I've got a motto," Rhondie Ross, Rutherford High School basketball coach said. "I feel like if you can't teach, you can't coach."

Bay alum Rhondie Ross has spent 15 years teaching and coaching basketball at Rutherford.

"I coached a couple of years at Bay, and I got the job here at Rutherford and the rest is history," Ross said.

Speaking of history, "I know I've probably got close to 300 wins at this stage," Ross said. "I could tell you, I remember the losses way more than I do the wins."

According to record books, Ross is one of the all-time winningest basketball coaches in Bay County, but didn't take his shot at coaching until later in life.

"I know I wanted to be around the game," Ross said. "I kind of took the road less traveled because I probably should have gotten into coaching in my early 20's. I actually got into coaching in my early 30's."

Regardless of when he got in, his players are just happy he did.

"He knows what he's talking about,' Lorenzo Ferrell, Rutherford senior basketball player said. "He's a really good coach. He's hard, but at the end fo the day he's just trying to make you a better player."

When asked what makes a good coach, Ross says it's all about management.

"Developing relationships with players," Ross said. "Coaching is really managing people. You've got to manage your players, you've got to manage your parents, manage your administration."

Managing and building relationships. Maybe that's why you can always find former players at games to see their old coach in action.

"Seeing them growing up to be productive young men, having their own kids and families," Ross said. "Coming back, having reunions, that's the great part about coaching and sports in general."

And for those former players who say Ross has softened up as a coach.

"I would like to think I've gotten a lot wiser and more efficient," Ross laughed. "The time we would go practice for three hours. Now what I did in three hours, I can do in two."

The Rams winning their regular season opener Monday night on the road against Niceville.

Their next game is Thursday at Choctaw.