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No. 250 quite painful despite Blevins’ 523 career wins


BHS boys head basketball coach Mark Blevins, center, was recognized Feb. 19 for reaching the 500 career coaching win plateau in 29 years as a head basketball coach, the last 10 at BHS.- Marty McCool/www.eventography.net
With 523 career coaching wins in 29 season as a head basketball coach, Mark Blevins has been more consumed and frustrated of late by his 250th loss.

Considered a huge upset by most local high school hoop observers, fourth-seeded Halls ended top-seeded Bearden’s season in the first round of the Region 2-AAA Tournament at South-Doyle High March 2.


Blevins said the 78-75 overtime loss also marked a personal first in a long and successful coaching career that has produced two state tournament appearances, three regional championship, six sub-state trips and 10 District 4-AAA regular season and tournament titles (five each) in 10 seasons as Bulldogs skipper.

“It was just so disappointing for me personally because I’ve coached 29 years and that’s the first time I’ve had a team get upset in the playoffs that didn’t involve us having injuries or sickness,” Blevins said of the loss to Halls.

In addition to breaking the 500-win career plateau during the 2003-04 season, Blevins led his Bulldogs to the District 4-AAA Tournament title (26-8 record) while improving his career BHS record to 253-79, making him the winningest coach in school history.

A West Virginia native, Blevins coached in West Virginia and Virginia before coming to the Volunteer State in 1982 as head coach at Johnson County High in Mountain City for two years (’82-83 and ’83-84). Blevins led JCHS to its only state tournament appearance in the school’s 84-year history.

Blevins was then hired at Bluefield College in southwestern Virginia, where in 10 seasons as both the men’s basketball and baseball coach became the winningest coach in school history in both sports. Blevins led the basketball BC Rams to three national small college runner-up finishes — and one in baseball.

500th HONOR

With former BHS star post and Blevins pupil Jason Barnes serving as emcee, coach Blevins was formally honored for reaching the 500-win plateau prior to the Bulldogs’ season home finale against Karns Feb. 19.

While pointing to the various boys basketball championship banners earned in the Blevins era, Barnes praised his former coach.

“The fans appreciate the added help of building character within the team, and I know that it’s not always easy,” said Barnes, a two-time District 4-AAA Tournament Most Valuable Player (’97 and ’98). “The parents in this community support your efforts.

“I’m truly honored to be here to congratulate you on reaching your 500th win on Nov. 24, 2003,” Barnes added about the 96-74 victory against Swansea College Academy of Wales, England at BHS.

Presenting Blevins a trophy during the ceremony, Bearden High School’s Boys Basketball Booster Club has formally included the first nine years of the Blevins era in its “Decade of Dominance, 1993-2003.”

BLEVINS FOUNDATION

Barnes also announced that the BHS boosters have established a Mark Blevins Foundation For College Bound Athletes “that will support the Bearden High School boys basketball program,” he said.

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