Harrisburg basketball morning

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HARRISBURG – After nearly two decades, Harrisburg High School will have a new men’s basketball coach.

Steve Combs officially announced his retirement from coaching Harrisburg boy’s basketball last Wednesday. Earlier in the year, Combs had been given the job of superintendent for Harrisburg for the upcoming school year.

Combs has been coaching for Harrisburg since 1999. Before that, he played basketball for both Harrisburg and then Columbia College.

His players said even though they had predicted their coach’s retirement, it didn’t make accepting the decision any easier.

“I knew it was coming, but in the locker room when he told us, it was very emotional,” Harrisburg junior guard Brendan Gray said.

Combs said he wasn’t ever ready to make a decision on the matter but knew it had to come at some point.

“It was one of those situations where I really didn’t want to make a decision either way until we were done,” Combs said.

Even though Combs is officially done coaching Harrisburg, he said his ride with the team and the kids on the team couldn’t have ended any better.

“I couldn’t really ask for a better script to win my last game in the final four with a great group of kids,” Combs said.

Even though Combs will still be around as superintendent, players said it will not make him leaving the program any easier.

“That’s going to be very weird. I mean, not seeing him storming up and down the court yelling, that’s going to be completely different,” junior guard Brendan Gray said.

Combs’ son, Cade Combs, said even though he knew the odds of his dad returning for his senior year were slim, he is proud with how his coaching tenure ended.

“It was a great year and fun time with all my best friends and my dad… and I didn’t know at the time that it would be his last year. But now looking back on it, it’s great to send him out with a final four,” senior guard Cade Combs said.

Steve Combs is excited to be in the stands and could not deny his gratitude for the school and the community of Harrisburg itself.

“I’ve been here for 18 years. It’s been a great ride and just thanks for all the memories.”

Harrisburg has not yet announced a new head coach, but the school is currently in the process of hiring one.