EL PASO, Texas - Cathedral boys basketball coach Tony Harper is well within striking distance of a mark even he never thought he would achieve - 1,000 career wins as a high school coach.
"No, I didn't think I'd last this long as a coach," he said Tuesday before the Irish beat Deming 72-58 for his 996th win all-time.
Mike Kirkland led the way for Cathedral with 22 points as the Irish moved to 18-9 overall.
According to Maxpreps, Cathedral has six more regular season games and then at least one playoff game to go this year. Four more wins is all Harper needs to etch his name in the exclusive 1,000-win club.
But Harper, who was named the head coach of the Irish in January of 2015 after leaving Montwood, says he's less concerned about it than almost anyone else.
"You know what, when it started to get closeto that number, everyone kept counting," he said. "I just let them count, so I don't have to worry about it."
What does he worry about? Spoken like a true coach, Harper says his mind is simply preoccupied with the next team on the schedule.
"I'm just worried about the next game every night that we have to play." said Harper.
If the Irish don't find a way to win four more games this season, Harper did say that he would be back for at least one more season.