By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Bernie Bostick said he saw more of his Woodrow Wilson girls basketball team during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays the past 10 years than he did his own family.
That will change.
Bostick, a longtime coaching fixture in Beckley, has called it a day as the Flying Eagles’ head coach. He will remain as an assistant in tennis.
“I felt like it was time,” Bostick said. “Next year is my daughter Mary Kate’s senior year, and I want to spend time with her. Maddie is coming to Woodrow the year after. I want to spend holidays with my family.”
A junior high coach since 1979, Bostick took over at Woodrow for the 2003-04 season and led the Flying Eagles to state tournament appearances in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
According to Register-Herald records, Bostick had a 133-105 record at Woodrow.
His best record was in 2007, when the Flying Eagles were 20-3 and were upset in the Class AAA state quarterfinals.
It was the first of three extremely talented teams. Ashley Blaney, Shalanda Diggs, Erin Reynolds, Charlene Diggs , Camisha Alexander and Katrina Lillard each went on to play college basketball. Erika Staples, Ashley Chipps and Haley Snyder also had fine careers, but chose not to play college ball.
The Flying Eagles compiled a 50-24 record during that time. They reached the state semifinals in 2008.
“Everybody played well together. There was no dissension,” Bostick said. “They wanted to win; they wanted to practice. They were a very competitive bunch.”
He said his biggest win was in the 2009 regionals, when Woodrow came from 11 points down with 61 seconds to defeat host Parkersburg South 50-49.
“The place was packed, and they were so sure they were going to win,” Bostick said. “Everybody was dumbfounded except us, and we were going crazy.
“We were halfway home when Chuckie (Diggs, assistant coach) said, ‘They didn’t give us our trophy.’”
Woodrow won at least 10 games every season afterwards, but never got out of the regionals again.
“We’ve had some good players, but they were content at being good players,” Bostick said. “The last several years, the effort or desire to work year-round has not been there.
“When we were winning, we had girls who got into the weight room and lifted weights. You don’t see that level of commitment now.”
Bostick was blessed with a talented staff. Two years ago, he missed much of the season because of prostate surgery
Diggs, who coached with Bostick for 10 years, and John Quesenberry (three years) held the team together.
Another former coach, Timmie Korczyk, had assisted him for seven years.
“Before working together, I didn’t know Chuckie. But you couldn’t have asked for a more loyal coach,” Bostick said. “He loved the game and was a hard worker.
“Timmie and I had coached against each other in junior high, and when I got the job, she was the first one to come to mind (for an assistant). John was really good with offense and was always super positive.”
Bostick began coaching high school tennis at Woodrow in 1979. He then moved to Stratton Junior High, where he served stints as girls and boys basketball assistant and head coach and boys and girls track coach.
He has coached basketball at Beckley-Stratton Junior High, and cross county and tennis (assistant) at Woodrow.
Bostick won one girls and eight boys county championships at Stratton. He had two undefeated seasons with the boys, back to back, and had an overall record of 201-30 with the boys team.
At least 12 Woodrow girls he coached earned college scholarships.
“I’ve enjoyed working with kids. The best thing is seeing them improve, and seeing how they feel when they’ve improved,” Bostick said.
“Ultimately, the wins define you, but watching kids that couldn’t make a lay-up get better — you get satisfaction from that.”
The job has been posted by the Raleigh County Board of Education, but no successor to Bostick has been named.
— E-mail: dstillwell