Longtime Pulaski basketball coach Dave Fraley had set a personal goal to make it through one more season at Pulaski County High School. But Fraley made an immediate decision on Monday to step down as head coach of the Maroons, thus ending a 23-year association with Pulaski basketball.

“I felt like I had coached for as long as I could and I felt that my resignation was the best thing for the program,” Fraley said. “I am thrilled for Mark Flynn and he has five weeks left in this season to put his stamp on this Pulaski County basketball program.”

“Mark is a good young coach with a lot of energy to scout and practice,” Fraley said. “He is solid gold and what you see is what you get with Mark.”

According to Fraley, he had some serious talks with Flynn over the summer and made his assistant coach aware that he may resigning within the year.

“Mark had played for me and I truly respect him as a person and a coach,” Fraley added.

Fraley’s decision to leave the Pulaski coaching position after 23 years was a difficult task for the former state champion coach.

“I miss coaching already,” Fraley said, “but I felt that I was no longer effective as a coach and it was time for me to step off the hardwood floor.”

Fraley explained that the Southwestern loss nor any other surrounding circumstances had anything to do with his decision to resign. Fraley stated that he had told Pulaski Schools superintendent Tim Eaton, when Fraley was rehired as head coach five years ago, that he would coach for about four or five years and try to get the program back to respectability status.

“I knew I wasn’t going to win a state championship, but I just wanted to get the program back to where we could be competitive in the games we played and I felt like I accomplished that,” Fraley said. “We took Somerset to overtime and we were tied with Southwestern late into the game.”

Fraley was unsure with his continued involvement with the game of basketball, but he was definite about his role as a Pulaski County High School basketball fan.

“I have spent 24 years totally devoted to Pulaski County High School and no one feels any stronger about the Maroons than I do,” Fraley stated.

“I will continue to be a Maroons’ fan and cheer for Pulaski County until they carry me out of the gym feet first,” Fraley said.

Less than 24 hours after Fraley had closed the book on a coaching career that spanned over three decades, he tried to capsulate his memories of his legendary coaching career.

“The screen is too big for me to just pull out one or two of my favorite memories,” Fraley reflected.

“I remember in 1974 when we won our first regional championship in Powell County and we rode on a fire truck through town four straight days,” Fraley said with a broad smile. “By the time we got to Freedom Hall for the state tournament, we had not practiced much ... but there wasn’t a team there that was any happier than we were.”

“I guess as a coach you are judged by wins and losses, but the relationships with the players, their parents and my assistants have meant the most to me,” Fraley said.

Fraley’s 637 career wins will stand as a benchmark for future Pulaski County basketball coaches and the 1986 state championship banner that hangs in the spacious Pulaski County gym will serve as a reminder of Pulaski County boys’ basketball greatest moment.

Yankee Stadium was once referred to as ‘the house Ruth built.’ Pulaski County’s spacious gym, which was erected just three years prior to Fraley’s arrival, might as well be called ‘the house that Fraley built.’

Fraley said he will spend most of his free time watching college basketball games and supporting his sons, Shannon and John in their basketball coaching endeavors.

But totally giving up coaching basketball may be impossible for a man like Dave Fraley.

“There might be some kid out there that comes along and needs some help with his jump shot or some other part of his game,” Fraley. “I will always be available to a young basketball player, if he asks for my help.”

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