Irmo’s Coach Whipple moves to second all-time in coaching wins
Tim Whipple’s Irmo High office reveals testaments to his 39 years coaching basketball.
You will see three of his five state title trophies and pictures of former teams and players. What’s not present yet is something to recognize Whipple’s latest achievement.
Irmo defeated Blythewood 46-45 to earn the longtime boys’ basketball coach his 750th career team win Jan 11.
The dramatic victory on cable TV helped solidify Whipple’s position as the second winningest boys’ basketball coach in state history behind Great Falls’ John Smith. Last week, he increased his win total to 752 with victories over Lugoff-Elgin and Dutch Fork.
“That’s not something I really reflect on during the year,” Whipple said. “But afterwards, when I look back, it’s just like when we had our undefeated season four years ago.
“I think about how hard it is to not only get to a state championship game but to be undefeated and get to a state championship game.
“I reflect on those things and I think about these guys that are true legends in high school basketball in South Carolina. I can be mentioned in the same categories as them.
“It’s certainly a credit to the extremely talented basketball players I’ve been able to coach over the years and the extremely talented coaches that I’ve been able to work with. So they share in those accomplishments.”
During Whipple’s career, he has led the Yellow Jackets to 17 region titles and nine state title appearances. This includes state title appearances 2016 in Class 4A and 2018 in Class 5A.
Whipple acknowledged his energy level has diminished over the years.
The off-season helps rejuvenate his coaching juices. While he does not have a timetable for retirement, Whipple plans to continue on the sidelines as long as he can.
“As long as I have players that share my passion for the game, I want to be a part of it,” Whipple said. “I don’t want to be one of these people who hang around too long and end up having a problem. But as long as I can contribute and help these players grow, then that’s something that’s worth staying around.
“Whether it’s 1 year or 3-4 years, I’ll know that when the time comes.”
S.C. HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE ALL-TIME CAREER VICTORIES
1. John Smith (Great Falls) – 943
2. Tim Whipple (Irmo) – 750
3. Taft Watson (Terrell’s Bay) – 742
4. Zam Fredrick (Calhoun County) – 724
5. Louie Golden (Southside) – 699
6. Chip Atkins (Barnwell) – 637
7. Bailey Harris (Lexington) – 627
8. Doug Lowe (Spartanburg) – 626