When Travis McRae looks out at the Glenn Hills’ gym’s wooden bleachers and the banners, he sees memories of his playing and coaching days.
The 1986 graduate played alongside eventual NBA player and coach Michael Curry during his time with the Spartans and later became an assistant coach at the school. Glenn Hills won the state title in 2008 with McRae on staff.
McRae took over as head coach the next season and has kept Glenn Hills more than relevant since. This season, the Spartans won the Region 3-AAAA title and advanced to the Class AAAA state quarterfinals.
For his leadership, McRae is The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Georgia Boys Basketball Coach of the Year.
Glenn Hills’ run came in the final year of its longtime gym – the Spartans will get a new one next season. Looking around at a home he’s spent countless hours practicing, coaching and playing, McRae finds it easy to reflect.
“You see the stuff we did. It’s easy to look back,” McRae said, referencing the banners. “There’s no other place I’d rather be.”
This season, Glenn Hills added a region championship to its collection for the new gym. The Spartans didn’t lose once against region competition in going 25-5 overall. The Spartans had a similarly impressive record last season at 24-4, but lost in the region semifinals and had to travel for the first round of the state playoffs. They lost.
McRae didn’t have to remind his team about the sudden fall. He has a veteran group to work with, including seniors Tyrone Brown, Earl Cobb, and his son, Aubrey.
McRae’s son averaged more than 19 points per game and was the region’s player of the year.
Together, those four and the rest of the seniors formed a strong core that made McRae’s job much easier.
“It’s going to be real weird (without them),” McRae said. “That crew, they started playing with us the summer of their eighth grade year. Really, that’s all I’ve known.”