BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- A lot has changed in 50 years, but for one local man one thing has remained constant. South Brunswick High School coach Eugene Doane has been sharing his love of the game for half a century. In 1956 a young Eugene Doane began his first job as a teacher, but it was abruptly cut short. Doane said, "I actually taught for a month or less and got the papers from Uncle Sam, this is back in '56, to report to Fort Jackson in South Carolina." Coach Doane is a storyteller with some of the greatest stories in sports history. "That's when my team won the state championship in '75, somehow the White House got wind and they sent this letter to me and James Lovell, who was the first astronaut, signed it and presented it to me," Doane said. The State of North Carolina recently honored Doane for dedicating 50 years to educating young people. "It's been a numbing experience. Fifty years has kind of flown by, it's almost been like five years." Coach Doane has become somewhat of a living legend -- at least to his former players. Willis Wilson is now the head basketball coach at Rice University. He said, "When I was in high school and I didn't have my drivers license yet he waited outside my home at 5:30 in the morning and we would have open gym practice. I don't know if there are that many coaches that were that dedicated and made sure his players had a way of getting to practice everyday." A book, countless trophies, awards, championships and personal achievements later Coach Doane still in it for the love of his job. "As long as I enjoy it and as long as my health is good and most importantly as long as the kids respect me and do what I ask and play for me." Coach Doane is currently the boys and girls golf coach at South Brunswick High School. In fact, he coaches his grandson who is on the boy's varsity golf team. When asked if he was allowed to call him grandpa on the green he said no -- he goes by coach. If you know someone whose story should be featured on Carolina Diaries, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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