Spencer reached that milestone last week when the Lady Colts presented him with a 30-28 win over Dalton.
Spencer, who began his storied career at Birchwood, said the win was simply another happy chapter in a life that has been a dream come true.
“To be honest, I’ve never had a number in mind, so I never thought about 500, 1,000 or anything like that. The only thing I thought of is that I wanted to coach, I wanted to teach. I never thought about a number. I just always wanted to do my best, give everything I have and try to get the best out of the players I have coached,” said the coach.
“This many wins is just kind of a culmination of many things with all the great players over the years that have played for me. A lot of them have become good friends. I’m coaching some of their daughters now. It’s been a great opportunity for me and I really appreciate Bradley County Schools for that opportunity.”
Winning is nothing new for Spencer, who in his unmatched career has never coached a team that finished with a losing record. He has been part of six undefeated teams at Bradley Junior/Ocoee Middle and 11 undefeated teams during his coaching tenure.
Spencer has headed 10 freshman district tournament champions, four state championship teams, two runner-up teams, four Tennessee Valley Athletic Conference championship squads and one CTAC league champion. He has also been part of East Tennessee championship teams as well as Loudon Quarterback Club, Athens Lions Club and Trewhitt Middle School tournament championship teams.
“I’ve had the great opportunity to coach in a county like Bradley County and teach in Bradley County schools throughout all my life except for my first year at Birchwood. I have had the opportunity to coach a lot of really good basketball girls. I have been fortunate to have good parents, good principals and athletic directors. I have been very fortunate over the years to coach and teach in this county,” Spencer said of those he credits for allowing him to use his calling to coach basketball.
OMS athletics director and assistant coach Kent Smith said Spencer’s 1,000th victory is an impressive achievement, but is just a small part of what the coach brings to Ocoee Middle as a person. His dedication runs far deeper than merely coaching, his presence on campus adds a solid foundation all students can learn from.
“It (the milestone) means a lot. It means we have a great girls basketball program. I knew that when I took the job here. This program has been thriving for years and it is getting better. Having coach Spencer there for the girls is a great asset. He is so good with the girls. Someone who is going to put in as much time as he does into something means a lot. You don’t see that often these days, people staying in one job for so long. It’s great for our school and our atmosphere,” Smith said of the Lady Colts’ coach.
Spencer said the success of his programs mirrors his coaching philosophy and he plans to continue that philosophy until the day comes when he decides to coach his last team.
“As it was in the beginning of my coaching career, so it remains now. Coaching is not only a profession, but a calling to inspire young ladies and men to aspire to a lifetime of character development and achievement,” he said of his conviction. “I consider a team sport to be a building block to guide each life, a tool to inspire and instrument that gives each player a measurement of themselves to help guide them through life.”