Dan Spainhour has mulled the decision for a while. Coaching has played a significant part of his life for more than three decades.
But Spainhour says that his next move is "to be determined." The West Stokes boys basketball coach, whose career most recently placed him at the helm of the Wildcats since 2007, is set to retire in June. His formal notice will go before Stokes County Schools' next meeting Monday.
"I've been thinking about it for a while — sort of pointing at this year, anyway, to be my last," said Spainhour, who turns 60 in April. "We'll see what happens next."
Spainhour's 38-year coaching career, which features a 480-252 record, includes two stops in King. When West Stokes opened its doors in 1999, he served as the first athletics director and coached boys basketball.
He also served on staffs of Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton twice, once when Hamilton was at Miami and again in Tallahassee. He decided to return to King, around the time of the housing crisis' first waves in Florida in late 2006.
"He's been synonymous with West Stokes basketball," said Principal Kevin Spainhour, Dan's younger brother. "From when the doors opened in '99, he put the athletic program together and really started from the ground up there.
"But then just with what he's done with establishing the culture of the basketball program, the expectations that go with that. And even though he had a brief hiatus there, when he returned our community is such that it's almost like he didn't miss a beat."
Dan Spainhour coached at Bishop McGuinness from 1987 to 1995, and his brother played for him in state championship appearances during the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons.
They even coached against each other, with Kevin's Mount Airy teams going winless in six games against Dan's West Stokes clubs from 2003 to 2012.
Travis Gammons, the West Stokes athletics director, said the job would be posted "probably the next day or two" after Monday's meeting. A timetable for hiring a replacement has not been set.
"There had been some writing on the wall in our community, so to speak, knowing that he's been in the profession as long as he has and knowing the number of seniors he has on this team," Kevin Spainhour said. "… He felt like, this season for him, he's ready to kind of put this season of life and go on to the next chapter.
"And whatever that next chapter may be, I think he's still trying to explore that and figure that out. But he knows the time is right now to go on to the next challenge of what's next. I 100 percent don't think he's going to sit on the couch and watch TV."
Dan Spainhour's final season at West Stokes was a strong sendoff: A Western Piedmont Athletic 2-A regular-season championship, getting at least a share for a third straight season, and a conference tournament championship.
Then came a No. 2 seed in the West Region of the NCHSAA Class 2-A playoffs with a senior-laden team that included Isaac Spainhour, Dan's 6-foot-3 nephew who averaged 17.2 points and ended his career as a four-time all-conference selection.
The Wildcats reached the fourth round for the first time since 2010-11, losing to Shelby on March 3.
"This was a good year to go out," Dan Spainhour said. "And I feel good about going out. You know, some coaches get tired and fed up a losing year or something like that. And then they decide they want to quit.
"This is bigger than that, and I'm really grateful we got to go out on a winning note — got to go out on such a good year. So, I'm thankful for that."