QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Scott Douglas remembers the moment like it was yesterday.
Douglas got a knock on his door from principal Ray Heilmann and former boys basketball coach Lonny Lemon. The year was 1996 and the time was 9 p.m., and the two wanted Douglas to be the next leader of the Quincy Notre Dame basketball program.
""He was without question our choice. The person who we wanted," Heilmann said.
"He's the type of guy that I would want my son or grandson to play for and I knew it at that time."
17 years, 360 wins, 12 regional titles, and two state tournament trophies later, Douglas stepped down as the Raiders head coach on Thursday morning as the winningest coach in program history.
"I've evaluated it as time has gone on, and more and more it really comes down to that simple statement - it's just time," Douglas indicated.
"There's some other things that I want to do, there's some other things professionally that I think I have to put in place for the end of my career."
QND athletic director Bill Connell introduced Douglas at his press conference.
"Over those (17) years (Douglas) has had a huge amount of success. He leaves here and leaves our program on top."
Douglas didn't hide his emotions especially when he talked about the players and teams he's coached. He highlighted the group that just wrapped up a 21-win season which featured a senior class that included his son Sam.
"As I look out here and most specifically (at the players) to me that is the most beautiful site that I can imagine," Douglas said as tears emerged.
"That is a group of basketball players but it's so much more at this moment. There could be no better team to go out with."
As Douglas closes the chapter on this part of his life he's now ready to embrace the next one.
Scott, and his wife Amy, are the proud parents of seven children and they have one grandchild. A little time away from the sport is something Douglas readily admits he's ready for.
"I've had 28 to 30 years of only knowing this," Douglas said of coaching.
"I've forgotten what life is like without it. We'll engage in that life and see where it takes us. I'm excited about that."
Douglas will remain at QND as the school's director of spiritual formation and religion teacher, and he hasn't ruled out the possibility of a return to coaching.
According to Connell, a search to replace Douglas will begin in the coming weeks.
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