SUN PRAIRIE — Jeff Boos knows there’s a time in every coach’s life when they must take a step back, reevaluate where they’re at and choose to move on.
After four decades, that time came Monday night for Boos when he announced his resignation as boys basketball coach at Sun Prairie East after 26 years. Boos retired from teaching two years ago and said a lot of factors went into his decision, including some burnout after having led the program for over two-and-a-half decades.
“It just kind of felt like there was a time for change, I guess, for me in the sense that things had occurred there. It felt like at the end of the year there was fatigue; a little worn down a bit and I could just feel I’d lost some energy along the way,” he said.
“It just kind of played itself out that way for me; I felt it was that time. I don’t know if there’s ever a perfect time, but I thought it might be the best time.”
While Boos officially announced his resignation Monday, Sun Prairie East athletic director Eric Nee said it was an ongoing conversation the two had over the past two seasons. Nee said Boos “wanted to leave the program in good hands and at a successful spot,” and unlike most coaches, he got to choose his stopping point.
People are also reading…
“Jeff has put a lot of elbow grease into the program and building it to where it is currently,” Nee said. ““I’m extremely happy for him. Not many coaches get to go out on their own terms and Jeff has.”
Boos helped build the Cardinals into a top contender in the Big Eight Conference. After finishing no better than sixth in the league from 2002-03 to 2009-10, Sun Prairie East finished no worse than fourth in the final 11 conference seasons of the 2020 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Famer’s career.
Sun Prairie East also reached the league’s peak with a share of three conference tiles (2012-13, 15-16 and 16-17) before winning the outright Big Eight championship in 2017-18 when the Cardinals reached the WIAA Division 1 state tournament for the first time in program history.
Boos led the Cardinals back to state the following season, when they finished runner-up to eventual champion Brookfield Central.
“It was a really big highlight for our school, our community and all the work that was put into get to that level, and I think it’s something we’ve always tried to maintain at a high level,” Boos said. “That’s been our motto and we’ve been working hard at it, along with our kids, and everyone else that’s involved.”
Boos, who ends his career with an overall record of 452-389, including 333-270 at Sun Prairie East, knows the turnaround for the Cardinals is credited to a lot of people. However, Nee knows how much recognition Boos deserves.
“Just to see him grown over the last 3-4 years, to develop that part of the game and the students, means a lot,” Nee said.
Nee, who highlighted Boos’ adaptability and embracement of student leadership, said he plans to post the opening soon as the Sun Prairie East administration looks to hire a new volleyball and girls swim coach. Once that is finished, he said the hope is to conduct interviews in mid-August before making an official hiring by the end of the month.
Boos’ top piece of advice for his success would “be comfortable and confident in what you’re doing, and believe in what you’re doing.”
It’s what he’s done for the last four decades, and what he may continue to do in the future. While he’s stepping away now, Boos said he hasn’t fully shut the door on closing as “you never say never.”
“We’ll just kind of play it out and see how it goes,” he said. “And if something would be really intriguing and exciting to be up for a challenge, I might be thinking about it. I’ll take that time when it comes and go from there, but I would never say never for anything. You never know.”
Follow Sean Davis on Twitter @SDavis_PDR or contact him at 608-745-3512.