H.S. BASKETBALL | Powell County Coach Comes Full-Circle
01/31/2017 07:30 PM
“People like to say you can’t win a big game until you win one,” Dave Fraley said.
Fraley knows a thing or two about big games. After more than 40 years since he was told he’d have to coach boys’ basketball to get a teaching job at Powell County, he’s back with the Pirates this season.
“My trial and error years, the first time, were here. Seven years and they let me grow, they let me experiment, they let me learn who I was and then when they called and they were talking about how this program needed to be rebuilt, I felt like I owed them that,” Fraley said as he explained his decision to return to basketball.
He coached at Powell County for seven years and moved on to other jobs eventually. He racked up nearly 700 wins and a State Championship between then and now, despite retiring three separate times. Out of all his accolades, the Sweet Sixteen is one of the sweetest.
“It’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment, because only 16 teams a year get to go and to be one of those, as a coach, it puts you in just another little higher echelon, you’re perceived by your peers as a guy that’s won a regional tournament versus guys that haven’t,” he said.
Coach Fraley led Powell County to their first Region Championship in 1974, sending him to his first of six state tournament appearances as a coach.
“We lost to Taylor County by nine in the state tournament, but it was all about that first trip and you know how big basketball is in Kentucky. Especially in the rural areas. So when we made that trip everyone was pretty happy about that,” Fraley recalled.
Powell County doesn’t have a boys’ basketball State Championship yet, but he said that Regional Title changed the program and him as a coach. Fraley said he’s happy his career has come full circle.
“My ghost has lived here 40 years and I’m back, so I guess that was meaningful to this community,” he said with a laugh.
The Pirates sit in second place in the 14th Region with a 16-6 record. They have three region losses but are undefeated in their district. They’re back in action tonight against Knott County Central.
Watch Spectrum News’ first County Connection on the Powell County Pirates here: