PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - An era is ending at Central High School in Phenix City this year.
Boys basketball coach Bobby Wright is retiring after 44 years of service. He’s guided hundreds of young men on and off the court.
“I believe that kids are going to just about do what you make them do,” said Wright. “You can ask them a lot of times, but you’ve got to get on them really good sometimes to get them to do what you want them to do.”
The discipline-first approach has worked well. The Red Devils won their 13th-straight area title last year. Wright’s players have come to appreciate the tough love.
“He will still make you laugh, even when you did something wrong,” said Duane Morse, senior guard and forward for the Central Red Devils. “He’ll make you feel better, even though you messed up.”
Wright has coached countless games at Central High. His final regular season game is Friday.
“I’ve been here so long, this is like a second family for me. I’m going to miss being around the kids,” Wright said.
Wright’s coaching career began in Columbus at Carver High School. Two years later, the late Wayne Trawick offered him a job at Central.
“I had never been to Phenix City. I didn’t know anything about Phenix City. But I did research them and found out that they had a good athletic program. So, I accepted the challenge to come over. Probably the best decision I’ve ever made,” said Wright.
Wright later hired Carolyn Moore as the girls basketball coach. She’s not his wife of 28 years. They’ve both been at Central High ever since.
“Most of the time, it’s just great,” said Carolyn Wright. “Some of the time, he’s been my boss. He’ll say, ‘do this and I’m not at home,’ so I have to do it.”
Outside of working alongside his wife, Wright leaves with countless memories. He’s won over 600 games. He’s led the Red Devils to two state finals. Above all, he’s gotten to know many people.
“Even though I’m retiring, I’m not going to lose the friendships and bonds I’ve created while I’ve been here,” he said.