With a 64-37 thrashing of Lovejoy, Newton High School basketball coach Rick Rasmussen earned the 200th win of his career. Rasmussen speaks on the accomplishment and what’s ahead for him in this Q&A.
The Covington News: What does 200 mean to you?
Rick Rasmuseen: It’s a milestone. I think the biggest thing that it shows is the consistency of every year being important and trying to take each team, each year and help them to be the best team that they can be. I think that’s how you get to that within 10 years. The thing that we’re most proud of is all the commitment and the hard work that all the guys that bought in to the Newton way and the consistency that the milestone was in 10 years shows. I think that’s the thing we’re most proud of. A lot of players and a lot of assistant coaches and fans and supporters helped that to become a reality in just 10 seasons.
CN: Coach you talked about the “Newton way.” What does that mean to you?
Rasmuseen: It means fundamentals and discipline. Sacrifice what you really want to do for what’s better for the team is most important. Those three things: fundamentals, discipline and then sacrifice. Understanding your role and doing what’s best for the team instead of what’s best for one individual. Somebody said once, ‘Would you rather have guys who want to be all-region? Or guys who want to win the region as a team, altogether?’ So, what kind of guys do we have? I hope we have guys who would rather be a part of a region championship than just, “I was on the all-region team and we weren’t very good.” I think that’s kind of our expectation and it starts with each individual guy sacrificing. An emphasis on fundamentals and discipline and sacrificial attitudes of putting the team first.
CN: You talked about basically averaging 20 wins a season. So talk about the difficulty of that, because that’s a hard feat to accomplish.
Rasmuseen: I don’t think you really think about the wins. What you think about is the preparation, the togetherness and the sacrifice that has to go in to be successful. It’s really just, let’s be as good as we can be. John Wooden used to say that, “The measure of success is did you fulfill your potential and were you the best that you could be?” That’s really success. It’s happened to me in 20 wins a year and state and those things more often than not. I think it’s just the measurement of our standard of let’s be the best we can be and get a group of guys that all want to do that.
CN: Last question coach, do you have a goal in mind or your sight set on a certain number of wins that you would like to accomplish in your career?
Rasmuseen: Well it’s been 10 years, so I’ve got a minimum of teaching for 13 more to get the teacher retirement of 30. That doesn’t mean I would retire necessarily at 30. So you could see at least another 10 years in there and lord willing at Newton if they’ll still have me. So that would be a chance at 400 there. Who knows? I know coach [Ron] Bradley’s got a little more than 500 at Newton. Maybe I’d have to go past retirement age to get that, but I think 400 sounds good (laughing). Again, you don’t really think about it. I just think that it’s just one year at a time. You do the best you can with a group of guys coming together. The rest of it is just the Lord providing you a chance to still be doing it. You’ve got to change with the times. I feel like I’m certainly different than I was 10 years ago and 17 years ago when I came to Newton. I’ve worked with a lot of people that have helped me help get my career where it is, including coach Bradley. He probably as a coach, was more instrumental in my career than anybody. I think that’s obtainable though. The big 400 is obtainable. That would be another 10 years right there so that sounds good (laughing).