It takes a lot of time to accumulate 400 wins. If a basketball coach leads his team to 20 wins a season, that takes 20 years to reach that milestone.
Kevin Gill has surpassed the 400 victory milestone in his 17th season at McLennan Community College. Each of his now-401 wins has come while coaching the Highlanders. Add the additional 167 games he won as a high school coach, and he’s well on his way to 600 wins.
When asked how he felt about winning the 400th game, he said, “Pretty good, especially at one school.”
Over the years, a couple of games have lingered in the memory. Gill said he would never forget the state championship at La Vega back in 2000.
The other win that stood out was his first win at MCC. Gill recalled that the Highlanders were going up against the No. 1 team in the country, South Plains. His team consisted of 13 freshmen, and they won the game in overtime.
But while it’s fun to reminisce over past victories, there are also future games to play. The regular season comes to a close Wednesday at Hill College. Hill is playing to get into the playoffs, while the Highlanders will be either the No. 1 or 2 seed at the Region V tournament. The Rebels came to The Highlands on Feb. 3 and walked away with a win, the only team to beat Gill’s team at home.
Gill doesn’t want his team to seek revenge, though. He feels confident going into the season finale, but he tells his team to concentrate on playing well, not payback. The way to get the win, he said, is to play smart basketball, play the way they know how.
Gill has a lot of confidence in his team. He said they’ve played 30 games now, so the rookies are not freshmen anymore.
Asked if he had anything else to add, Gill made a simple statement: “I’m just having a blast.”