Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

See Ya Later, Skip

My high school basketball coach, Birmingham Roeper's Ernie Righetti, called it a career tonight.
His girls cage crew bowed from state tourney play with a loss to Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes in the Class D regionals.
For over 30 years, the big fella was on the bench leading both the Roughriders girls and boys hoops programs. At the end of the day he has almost 800 wins to show for it, one of the best totals in MHSAA history.
I can honestly say without a doubt in my mind I learned more from Ernie in my teenage years than any book or teacher I ever had. He taught me about being a man, a human being, an individual of substance and character, about what it meant to be responsible, devoted and mature, about how to be relentless in your work ethic and commitment. I owe so much to him, the person that besides my father was the most influential male role model and mentor in my life. He cultivated my love of basketball, coaching me from the time I was 11 until I was 18. My junior year on varsity, I played sparingly on his first-ever district championship team. My senior year, I was his captain on a repeat-title squad. Those memories, his guidance and nurturing, are forever embedded in my heart. His impact, his lasting imprint at a school where there were hurdles upon hurdles facing success and support in athletics endeavors, was tremendous, indelible. His legend in the area's small-school prep basketball ranks colossal. Here's hoping his retirement days are just as fulfilling.  


Blogger Raymond Kelser said...

Ernie Righetti is WITHOUT QUESTION one of the best coaches in the state of Michigan. I have watched him lead many young people and provide the knowledge and nourishment which has lead to successful adulthood. I salute you, #respect!!!

March 11, 2015 at 6:55 AM 

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