By Kurt Ritzman
Assistant Sports Editor
On Monday night, the Clinton school board accepted the early retirement of longtime social studies teacher and volleyball coach Mark Massey.
“I have tremendously enjoyed my 39 years of teaching and 35 years of coaching in the Clinton School District,” Massey said. “I hope to be able to continue to serve the community and the school district in a variety of capacities.”
One of those capacities may be coaching. Despite officially retiring from the position, Massey said he had a desire to coach again in the future.
“Do I plan on coaching in the future?” he said. “I think I still may have quite a bit of coaching in me.”
Massey retires as the winningest coach in Mississippi Athletic Conference history and coached the River Queens to a victory over North Scott in the first MAC volleyball contest.
“I’ve always been appreciative of the confidence that (former athletic director) Bill Holmstrom showed in me, way back in June 1978,” Massey said. “I think that we’ve built a solid program that the community and school can be proud of since then.”
Massey became the fourth Iowa coach to reach 700 wins in 2009 and currently has 761 wins.
“I’m proud of the volleyball program and of my association with some outstanding athletes and parents,” Massey said. “I’ve been blessed with some tremendous assistant coaches. You can’t build a program without them.”
Massey said his announcement was greeted with some surprise by his students and that he had received a number of nice comments from students and staff.
“Everything usually works out for the better,” he said. Then he added with a chuckle, “Most students are probably more worried about what they’re going to have for lunch than what their social studies teacher is going to be doing a year from now.”
Massey said the original plan was to continue to teach while his children were in college and then decide what to do about volleyball. His son Evan is a graduate of Knox College and daughter Sarah is a junior at the University of Iowa.
“In late October or early November, the district floated the idea of an early retirement package,” Massey said. “I got to thinking about it and decided if I was going to retire next year, why not do it this year for a few thousand extra dollars and a free year, so to speak. I still enjoy teaching and coaching, and I think I’ve done a pretty decent job at both. ... It seemed like a good time to do it.”