TYLER, Texas — With the UT Tyler men’s basketball team wrapping up their season on Saturday, Head Coach Louis Wilson took some time to reflect back on the unprecedented 2020-21 season.
Like many teams throughout the season, the stress of COVID-19 brought many challenges to the Patriots, especially for Wilson.
“It reprioritizes things for you. As coaches, to us and our world, it’s about practice, it’s about games, it’s about winning the day," Wilson said. "COVID has entered our lives and winning the day means something totally different now."
The second-year head coach recalls one of the most difficult moments during the season was informing a parent that his son had tested positive for the virus.
“All of the sudden the parent is on the phone crying because they are scared," he said. "As a parent, that hit my heart and helped me understand that I have a certain responsibility.”
Despite facing many challenges, the Patriots secured a 12-10 record, making it their first winning season since the 2017-18 campaign.
“We had 8 new guys, so with all of the things going on with COVID. The more newness you add to your team, the more of a disadvantage you are at. Our growth has been exponential, mainly in our teams,” Wilson said.
Wilson is the fourth head basketball coach for the Patriots in program history.