CASTLEWOOD-- After 14 years of coaching basketball in Southwest Virginia, Wayne Rasnick is hanging up his whistle.
Rasnick, who led the Castlewood and Virginia High boys basketball programs to Group A state tournament berths during his successive assignments with the Blue Devils and Bearcats, announced his retirment from teaching and coaching on Wednesday.
“I'm changing career directions. I'm going to be working in the natural gas industry, and I'm also a farmer,” Rasnick said. “I need to spend more time with my family and this will allow me to be home at a designated time.”
Rasnick is the second basketball coach to step down at Virginia High since the end of the school year. Girls basketball coach Mike Goforth had already resigned to take an assistant principal's post at Union High School in Wise County.
Rasnick said his decision to retire from coaching in no way reflected upon the Virginia High administration.
“This is purely a career move for me,” Rasnick said. “Bristol has been a really nice place to work. They took me and my family in and showed us warmth and made us part of the community. It was a great school system to work in and Barry Reed is, in my opinion, the best athletic director in the state.”
Rasnick, a Dickenson County native, got his start coaching as an assistant under high school buddy David Robinette, who is currently head basketball coach at Haysi. Rasnick moved from there to St. Paul, where he led the Lady Deacons to three regular season and three district tournament titles.
He remained in the Cumberland district but shifted his focus to boys basketball when he took over at Castlewood, leading the Blue Devils to back-to-back district titles. He coached Castlewood to a Region D, Division 2 championship and state berth his first season there, leading the Blue Devils to the Region D, Division 1 crown and an eventual Group A Final Four appearance his second year there.
In 2012, Rasnick led the Virginia High boys program to its first Group A, state final four appearance since 1960.
“I've really enjoyed it. I feel like I've been able to touch a lot of kids' lives wherever I've coached at. And I love to study the game,” said Rasnick. “I talked to (Gate City head coach) Scotty Vermillion today and told him how much I'd miss the competition. He's one of my best friends in coaching. And that's another thing. I made so many friends in Virginia and Tennessee through coaching.”
One possible consolation for Rasnick is that unlike coaching basketball, his new career should not conflict so much with his passion for deer hunting. He has just leased an additional 875 acres to hunt on next fall with his son, Ruben, whom he coached at Castlewood.
“Between that and the farm, we're really looking forward to getting into that,” Rasnick said.