Shaun Dumas, Crescent City Boys Basketball Coach
- High School: St. Augustine
- College: Xavier University
- Fourth season as Head Boys Basketball Coach at Crescent City
- With a team starting no seniors, the Pioneers rallied in the fourth and controlled overtime to outlast top-seed Jehovah-Jireh 69-64 to win the Division V state championship, the first state championship in any sport in the history of the school.
Coach, your team just won the Division V Boys Basketball State Championship giving Crescent City its first state title in the history of the school. How does that feel to have left a legacy at Crescent City?
"It feels good. It feels real good to be able to leave a legacy and start the school's tradition of high expectations. It's rewarding to be moving in the right direction."
You've mentioned that it has been a tough year for this team with one of the players and one of the coaches losing someone close to them. Did you have anybody on the team who took the role of rallying the team together to overcome those losses and reach the state title game?
"Well I'll tell you this, it's really been a collective effort. It's been all of them having each other's back and pushing each other and persevering and making sure they handle it like brothers. We teach them to be like family. All of the guys accepted the role that they're just going to be there for their brothers. We just kept pushing despite how difficult it was, and I think that's why the team was so special this year."
What is your favorite part about being a high school coach?
"You get to see a kid come to you one way and you get to see him progress and develop over the years not just as a basketball player but as an individual. It's such a blessing to see kids that you saw so much potential in surpass that potential. It's a beautiful thing. You get a chance to pour into their lives. At my school I get to share the gospel, and that is really special. You really get to be a father figure to them, a mentor in their life."
Most difficult part?
"Sometimes it's just taking the time to understand their day-to-day lives and understand that they're going through so many things outside of basketball. These kids, they're exposed to a lot of things, a lot of things I never had to deal with, so finding that balance between holding them accountable and being understanding and teaching them how to persevere can be a challenge. My kids have been through so much, but that's what has helped mold and shape them into who they are. Also, getting people to understand you're not just a coach can be difficult. I may get a call at midnight and have to get my kids food or talk to them because they're going through something. It's beyond X's and O's. It's more than winning a state championship. It's a lot more."
As a young coach, what is the best advice you've received from one of your mentors or a veteran coach?
"I've been blessed to have some great mentors and great coaches, so I have been able to soak up a lot of knowledge. But the best advice I've learned is to not be afraid to be who you are supposed to be in their lives. That's been working miracles in my life for sure. God has called me to be a lot of things for these kids. I teach them life lessons on a basketball court. They can transition it to real life, when they get to college, when they become husbands, fathers. I have taken those philosophies and I have ran with it."