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Flenor announces retirement- 04/26/2021

 

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools  

 

Alma athletic director Doug Loughridge likens Stan Flenor's Airedale basketball legacy to that of Frank Vines' football status. 

 

Monday, Flenor told his players he's decided to retire. The Airedales' coach won 457 games over 31 seasons as the head coach. 

 

"Stan Flenor is Alma basketball," Loughridge said. "His face will be on this program for a long, long time. What Frank Vines is to football, Stan Flenor is to basketball. We haven't turned out any NBA players, and very few college players, but the teams he has every year, you know they're going to play hard, and you're going to get in the fourth quarter with a chance to win."

 

Flenor's overall record is 457-348. 

 

"During the year and the pandemic, I had some thoughts about it," Flenor said. "Coming back and knowing we were going to have an inexperienced team, our team came back and worked hard all season. Record-wise, we didn't win as many games as we wanted, but it was a completely satisfying year."

 

The Airedales won six of seven games to begin the 2020-21 season, and at one point were 2-1 in 5A-West play. Then Alma lost six games of its final 10 games by eight points or less, including two buzzer-beaters.

 

"You do an evaluation every year," Flenor said. "I wanted to make sure we got the off-season off to a good start and then you blink and it's two months down the road. I've been a head coach since 1990 at Alma High School, and it's been the joy of my life to do that and help build a program."

 

"I've known Stan since he was in high school," Alma Superintendent David Woolly said. "He's a friend, he's a valued colleague, and as important as that is, it pales in comparison to what he's done for young people."

 

The Airedales won 102 games during Flenor's first decade as the coach. But since 2000-01, however, Alma compiled a 356-199 mark. They did it without many college-bound players. 

 

"We don't have any NBA players, obviously, and we don't have many guys that are going to sign, either, but we had great high school players," Flenor said. "We've had kids who went on to become coaches, lawyers, and guys working in the business community."

 

Flenor said he could sense bigger things beginning with the 2000-01 team. 

 

"In 2000, we kind of had the makings of our program," he said. "We started having the right pieces. Except for a couple of years, our guys started to come in and win. We had guys that were willing to work and sacrifice to be better and put our team first.

 

"Mr. (Charles) Dyer, one of his dreams was to have a state championship and be a perennial 5A-West contender, and we did that."

 

Since 2001, Alma's produced 17 winning seasons. 

 

"The next thing you know, it comes together and in 2005 we win a state championship," Flenor said. "It was a great thing because our girls and boys won in the same year."

 

"People know about his state championships, his conference championships, and those are great things," Woolly said. "(But) what they don't know is what he's done for his players away from the gym, helping them as young people to get on the right track."

 

Loughridge said the school plans to meet with longtime assistant Darren Stahler before moving forward. 

 

"There's not a timeframe," Loughridge said of naming a replacement. "We'll gauge coach Stahler's interest. We will advertise the job, too, but we'll talk to Darren before we talk to anybody."