Surprisingly, that time is now for Iota’s Stan Baggett.
Baggett, who has compiled a record of 709-257 in 25 years as a head coach, stepped down from his position as the Iota Lady Bulldogs’ basketball coach last week to pursue a non-coaching job within Acadia Parish.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Baggett, who led the Lady Dogs to the Class 2A title game this year. “Anytime you walk away from something you’ve been doing for 25 years, it’s never an easy thing.
“There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it, I’m going to miss a lot of things about coaching. But I’m also going to get to spend a lot more time with my family now and that’s what’s important.”
Baggett has twin daughters, Ashlyn and Caitlyn, who are starters on the McNeese State Cowgirls basketball team and his youngest daughter, Allison, recently signed to play basketball at UL-Lafayette.
“A big part of this is being able to spend this next year with my daughters,” said Baggett. “My twins will be getting married soon; I missed them a lot of these last four years and I just want to be around them as much as I can.
“This will give me more time to travel to watch all three of my girls play.”
Baggett’s daughters helped him build a legacy at Iota that few coaches could even fathom. Along with the twins, coach Baggett advanced to the Top 28 Tournament four straight years, played in the title game three times and won state championships twice.
With Allsion, his team made it to the finals in 2012, but his team was upended by powerhouse John Curtis.
In all, Baggett won 359 games at Iota and lost just 82. He won seven district titles with the Lady Dogs, was selected as the district coach of the year seven times, had six Top 28 appearances, four championship game appearances and won two state titles in two different classifications.
“It’s been an incredible journey,” said Baggett of his career. “The four times in seven years in getting to go to the championship game, that’s just so special. I’ve been around a lot of talented kids through the years.”
Baggett began his coaching career at St. Edmund in Eunice, where he coached for one year before taking over the boys program at Midland High School. He spent 12 years with the Rebels before taking over the girls program at Iota.
“I know the good Lord has blessed me a lot,” said Baggett. “I’ve been very fortunate to have been at places where basketball is important.
“Because of basketball, I’ve come into contact with a lot of wonderful people and that’s something I will always cherish.”
School officials have not named Baggett’s successor.
“Right now the job is still open,” said Baggett. “There have been a few people that have applied but we haven’t filled the position yet.”