WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. – He’s a legend in Webster Groves and after coaching the boys team for 20 seasons, he announced this is his last season.
Webster Groves basketball head coach, Jay Blossom, told his team this week, this would be his last season coaching with them. He wants to spend more time with his family and be able to watch his daughter play volleyball.
If you’ve ever witnessed a Webster Groves basketball game coached by Blossom, you hear the same thing… tough coaching and yelling, it’s a staple of the Statesmen program and has brought them much success.
“I do have a little old school in me,” Blossom said.
Behind the yelling and fierce glare when they mess up, is a man who cares deeply about his kids off the basketball court.
“He's like a dad to me, he's like a father to me." His players said they were surprised by the news and that they felt bad.
Helping raise boys to men, Blossom and his sons have brought four state championships and hundreds of wins to the Webster Groves community.
After this season, Blossom is planning to step down, so he can be the dad to his daughters – like he was to his basketball team for so many years.
His daughter, Gabby, plays volleyball at Penn State.
“I probably knew at Thanksgiving, just being up at state college watching my daughter play and missing a practice and stuff, I knew I couldn't do both," Blossom said.
Blossom gave his all to Webster Groves, his daughters grew up there and his wife was another coach from a far.
"It makes my heart sad, this was our childhood,” Gabby Blossom said.
“I mean, we finally get to take a Christmas vacation somewhere so that'll be fun,” His wife, Julie, said.
And while his legacy will forever live on in Webster Groves, it's hard to think this journey is coming to an end.
After the team’s win on Friday against Life For Life, the longtime coach has a career record of 432-118. In 2015, Blossom was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame.
Webster Groves plays Mehville on Dec. 29 in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament semifinals.
Coach Blossom said it’ll be hard for him to walk out of wherever their final game is.
“It probably won’t be real easy, to be honest,” Blossom said.