Carlton Valentine has decided to step down after seven seasons as varsity boys basketball coach at Sexton High School.
Valentine compiled a record of 140-32 that included five league, four district and two state titles. His teams made three straight appearances in the Class B state championship game, finishing runner-up in 2009-10 before earning state titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
"It was a real tough decision," he said. "Quite honestly, at the end of the season l wanted to come back. But as time went on, I started to lose that energy and desire you have to have to get ready for team camps and summer workouts. I didn't have that same burning gut desire.
"Teams are made in the offseason, and players are made in the offseason. It's important to have someone with that kind of desire running things."
Valentine's family wanted him to step down a year ago, but he wanted to see if the 2012-13 team could repeat as league, district, regional and/or state champions.
"We had a decent year," he said. "This year's district title was huge. I have so many memories."
Being with his teams is what Valentine said he'll miss the most.
"I demanded a lot of them, but I'm really close to my guys," he said. "The biggest thing I'll always remember is my players, being in the locker room, riding the bus, the film sessions and the team dinners. I've had several players go on to play collegiately at (NCAA) Division I schools, and some others at other levels."
Included in those were two of his sons, Drew and Denzel, who went on to play at Oakland University and Michigan State, respectively.
"Neither one were ever the team's leading scorer," Carlton said. "I want people to remember that we emphasized team, and put the team before anything else."
Valentine will continue as the basketball training development coordinator at the Michigan Athletic Club.
"I work with 40-50 kids per week, and even more during the summer," he said. "There will also be camps, and there's a DVD project I'm working on with some friends in California."
Carlton will enjoy a more flexible schedule that will allow him to see more of Denzel's Michigan State games.
"I went to a lot of home games, but there was a lot of stuff I could not go to," he said. "I missed a lot of that last year."