The time commitment coaches have to make in today's world also takes time away from their family life, and Crystal Lake South girls basketball coach Kyle McCaughn has decided his family has to take priority.
After 13 years as the Gators' head coach and 20 years in the program, McCaughn stepped down on Friday.
"I just felt it was the right time to do it," said McCaughn. "I question if I could give the program what it needed to move forward. There's talent and there's great kids, awesome kids, but it's getting very time consuming and my kids are reaching that age where I don't want to miss out on their activities. I coached park district basketball and soccer this year as well as the high school team and it reaches a point where the time with my kids is more valuable and I can't get that time back.
"I want the best for these kids at South and don't want them getting shortchanged. They deserve 100 percent of that time and I can't give them that. Whoever takes this position will be able to give them the time and energy that I have for a number of years."
McCaughn, 44, and his wife, Becky, have an 11-year old son, Caleb, and an eight-year old daughter, Morgan. The family lives in the Huntley school district. McCaughn is a guidance counselor at CLS.
"In his tenure he has helped numerous athletes to not only become better at the game of basketball but most importantly, he has been a tremendous leader through character building and making sure that his athletes had an enjoyable experience through their participation in the girls basketball program," said CL South Athletic Director Jason Bott in an emailed news release. "The program has been successful due to Kyle's relentless dedication to each and every girl that was involved in his program.
"Crystal Lake South is losing a valuable coach, mentor and leader on the basketball court but Kyle will continue to make positive impacts on the students and athletes at Crystal Lake South."
A graduate of Northland Pines High School in Eagle River, Wis., and the University of Wisconsin-Stout, McCaughn's only job as an educator and coach has been at CL South. His girls basketball coaching career began as a varsity assistant to Bill Butkus for three years. He then was the head sophomore coach for four seasons before taking over the program for Frank Benedetto. McCaughn's teams went 198-178, winning a regional championship in 2009 and Fox Valley Conference Valley Division titles in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2008-09. The Gators were 16-13 this past season. South had five seasons of 20-plus wins during his tenure.
"I was blessed to coach some great kids and it's those relationships that will help me get through this and stay with me the rest of the way," McCaughn said. "I wanted them to believe they were part of something important that would give them value."
McCaughn said he's not done coaching, but reiterated it was time to step away from the head coaching ranks.
"I'm not done," he said. "It might be another gym or another field at another level but right now I just can't be a head coach."