Coach Keller reaches 600-win milestone


Megan Cardosi

Varsity basketball head coach Samuel “Butch” Keller talks to his players. Keller reached his 600th career win on Tuesday.

by Alex Wang, Sports Editor

The varsity boys basketball team defeated Crystal Springs Uplands last night and Head Coach Samuel “Butch” Keller reached the milestone of 600 wins in his career as a coach.

Keller has coached basketball for the past 31 years, including 25 seasons before he came to Harker.

“I think the only sport I haven’t coached is lacrosse, but basketball has just been [my] passion. I’d been fortunate enough to coach basketball for 25 years before I got here,” he said.

Keller did not initially intend to pick up coaching or teaching when he was in college.

“I did not go to college to be a coach or an educator, [but] things changed and I got an education degree and started coaching because it was going to pay my way through the rest of college,” he said.

Upon his arrival at Harker, Keller had expected to stop coaching in order to fulfill his duties at the school but found the opportunity to continue coaching basketball, starting with the girls team and then taking over as head coach of the boys varsity team.

Keller sees his milestone as simply a by-product of his long career as a coach.

“I’ve just been telling everyone it’s an attendance record. This is my 31st season for boys high school basketball and that’s where these 600 come from,” he said. “Six hundred, it just means you’ve been doing it a long time.”

Instead of his milestone, Keller emphasized the connections that he made with his team as the most everlasting products of his career.

“The connections as a member of a team are different than the connections that you make when you’re in chemistry class,” he said. “Those are the bonds and those are the friends that I have and the relationships that I have with alumni are the ones that I coached.”

Varsity co-captain Eric Jeong (11) described his feelings on his coach’s achievement.

“I’m just happy to be a part of such a momentous celebration,” Eric said. “I’m sure I speak for the whole team when I say we all have the utmost respect for what he’s done these past 31 years.”

Keller summed up his coaching attitude in a comparison of his gymnasium and a teacher’s classroom.

“I look forward to going to practice more than I do to games because the gym is a coach’s classroom. It’s just fun to be around young kids in that environment,” he said.