'Lucky' Borries excited to coach again for Antioch

 
 
Updated 11/9/2018 6:12 PM
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  • Tim Borries, who suffered a heart attack last spring, begins his 12th season as Antioch's girls basketball coach when his Sequoits play Elk Grove in Vernon Hills' Cougar Classic on Monday night.

      Tim Borries, who suffered a heart attack last spring, begins his 12th season as Antioch's girls basketball coach when his Sequoits play Elk Grove in Vernon Hills' Cougar Classic on Monday night. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

We will see the first time a missed defensive assignment leads to an easy bucket whether Tim Borries is a changed man.

Or maybe it will be the first missed call by a referee that will challenge him to remain calm. Maybe steam won't, in fact, rise from the thinning hair on his head.

Antioch's two-time sectional-champion head girls basketball coach begins his 12th season with better perspective than ever. He's learning not to take his game so seriously, even though that's impossible for a coach to do.

Surviving a heart attack jolts you and humbles you.

"I'm just taking this whole season as, 'I'm going to enjoy it,' " said Borries, who proudly calls himself "one of those heart-attack survivors."

"I enjoy being with the girls, practicing with them," he added. "They practice hard."

March 29 was a hard night for Borries.

"My father-in-law was in hospice care in a hospital ... I had some stress," Borries said. "I had heartburn. I thought it was my diet, so I just took some Tums. It went away. But at about 12:30 (a.m.), it came back. It wouldn't go away. I was struggling breathing. In the meantime, my son (Nathan) woke up. He saw me. My wife (Sandy) was trying to get a hold of the doctor. My son goes, 'The heck with this. I'm calling 911.' "

By 2:30 a.m., doctors were putting two stents in the 50-year-old Borries' chest.

"I had 100-percent blockage in my (left anterior) descending artery," Borries said. "I'm just lucky (the heart attack) was on the right side and not the left side."

Go ahead and call what Nathan did by making that middle-of-the-night phone call heroic. His dad did.

"He's my hero," Borries said.

The first thing Sandy asked the doctor afterward was whether her husband could still coach basketball. The answer was yes, but there was no way Tim Borries was going to resume his normal lifestyle. He changed his eating habits, cutting back on his consumption of red meat and swapping it out for chicken and vegetables. Water replaced pop.

He dropped about 40 pounds.

"If I can't pronounce it, I don't eat it," Borries said. "The ingredients have to be very simple."

He exercises more too, even if it's just a good walk.

The spirited coach has also learned to take a seat and relax. His life scare made him realize how much he's loved and how much he loves certain things. He eked one out that night he had a heart attack and, like any coach, he appreciates a win.

"You'd be amazed at the reflection you have on your life when that happens," Borries said. "I heard from school classmates that I haven't talked to in 30 years. They reached out."

So now it's time to get back out and coach hoops again. Borries' Sequoits open their season Monday with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against Elk Grove in Vernon Hills' 10th annual Cougar Classic.

"You may see me have a whole new different approach on the sideline," Borries said.

It'll be good to see him doing what he loves to do again, period.

jaguilar@dailyherald.com

• Follow Joe on Twitter: @JoeAguilar64

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