Longview's Tommy Aldridge Gets Win Number 800 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/27/06

Longview's Tommy Aldridge Gets Win Number 800

He did it, or more importantly, his players did it. By digging deep to pull off the 33-29 win over North Mesquite tonight, the Lady Lobos handed their coach, Tommy Aldridge, a milestone never achieved in the state of Texas before by a high school girls coach. He is the first in 5-on-5 play, to win 800 career games.

"I feel great it's at home, our senior night and everything," Aldridge said, after being presented with a plaque commemorating the occasion. "I've had a lot of great teams. Every time I think about that first win, all the way through, I think about all the ladies now that have doctors degrees, NASA projects, one from the state championship team I think is a judge. That makes me prouder than anything else. 27 straight years of a 90 point GPA for our entire team. That's a long time. It shows you the character and grades of these young ladies."

Even now that he's sitting on 800, it's hard for Aldridge to believe he's made it this far.

"I thought I might hang around for 500," Aldridge said. "It was hard to visualize that even back then. Then, we set a goal to get 50 kids [to play basketball] in college. We've got 62 in now, and hopefully we've got two more out of this group that's going to college. And right now, it's a lot, about $150,000 on the education. And I think up until this year, I think 70 percent of our graduating seniors have gotten a full ride, so, that's what we're about in Longview.

So what do you do after 800? Keep coaching, that's what.

"I told them, I'm chasing Joe Paterno," Aldridge said about Penn State's football coach. "I want to have 79 or 80 [years old] on my back. I watched him coach at 79 [years old], that kind of rejuvenates me. We've got the best 8th and 9th grade back-to-back probably we've had in 15 years, so, I probably want to see those kids graduate at least.

The Lady Lobos will try to secure a playoff berth with two wins on the road, at Mesquite Horn next Friday, and Mesquite a week from Tuesday.

Kevin Berns reporting.
kberns@kltv.com

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