The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin

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The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin

The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin


Basketball coach Eric Toot finishes final year of coaching
Coach Eric Toot poses with his daughter after winning a sub-state championship.

BJHS teacher Eric Toot finished out his last season coaching the BHS girls basketball team. Toot has played a major part in any success the girls basketball team had.  After 30+ years of coaching, many people wonder how Toot first decided to start coaching.

“I’ve always enjoyed sports and the strategic part of sports, especially basketball,” Toot said, “When I was finished playing basketball I wanted to stay involved in the game so coaching was the next step.”

After being a coach for so long, there was a reason for the retirement. 

“I’ve been all in as a coach for over 30 years and I just felt this was the time to focus on other parts of my life as I head into my final year of teaching,” Toot said, “My plan is to retire from teaching at the end of next school year so that was a main factor in this decision. The program is in a great place in many areas, including talent, so I think this gives the new coach a head start for the next phase of our program. I never wanted to leave the new coach with a struggling program, I feel the next coach has a great opportunity to be successful moving forward.”

Being an all-in as a coach meant that Toot’s retirement has affected many of his basketball players.

“Mr. Toot just puts almost all his time and effort into us girls.” 8th grader Addy Scraper said, “I don’t think I’ve had a coach that does it like he does.”

Throughout his years of coaching, he has left a piece of himself with all the girls he has coached.

“My favorite memory is when coach Toot said ‘Just play basketball.” 8th grader Maleka Flory said, ” He cared. He wasn’t just coaching to win, he put effort into making us better as people and players. He wanted us to improve and he wasn’t just coaching for himself to look good.”

Toot always made sure to bring fun into practice too.

“When Mr. Toot starts to play the mini-games with us is always a really funny time.” Scraper said.

Along with the players, Toot’s friends and coaches are also sad to see him go.

Honestly, it [Toot retiring] was devastating.” BHS girls basketball coach Kara Lee said, “There is never a dull moment around Coach Toot. I always looked forward to spending a few hours after school with him at practice and games. We have a very unique relationship and he played a pivotal role in my life over the past few years. At the end of the day, I know he’ll still be around, so I have come to terms with his decision and I’m very happy for him and his future retired life.”

Toot brought a lot of success to the BHS girls basketball team.

“Coach Toot was a good coach because he possessed an unbelievable knowledge of the game.” 7th grade math teacher and fellow coach Chad Scoby said, “But what made him a great coach was his passion for creating a program consisting of great teammates who valued working hard and playing the game the right way. He always held his players to a high standard and giving maximum effort was expected from everyone. Coach Toot coached his players hard, which could be tough at times, but he did it because he respected them as athletes and believed in them as competitors.”  

Even if he isn’t coaching, Toot will be carried on by his legacy left at Baldwin