"This is a great place to teach, coach and grow. I want the best for our basketball program and our players. I do not want to have any involvement on who they hire to replace me. Danville basketball will always be a small part of who I am. I put a lot of sweat, hard work and heart into our program and I would like to see a coach come in here and win right off the bat," he said in his statement.
"I think it is important to support those who follow you. Ed McKinney showed tremendous support for me when I took over and I will do the same for the coach who replaces me."
Among the accomplishments Pippen said he is proud of is the implementation of the Character Counts program for his team.
"Program standards and expectations concerning character development and program rules were never altered nor bent for any one player. Like I tell our kids, 'No one is bigger than the program, including me,'" Pippen stated. "I am most proud of this because I feel it's more important for the players to excel off the floor (such as life skills, grades, behavior, citizenship, etc.) than on it. That is what I am most proud of."
Pleased with feeder program
Pippen said he also was pleased with the development of the feeder program in three areas:
* "During the past three years, coach Shawn Mountjoy and his staff have done a tremendous job implementing our system (fundamentals, terminology, concepts, et cetera) at Bate Middle."
* "Our Admiral Fan Night at the high school provided all Bate boys basketball players Danville Admiral T-shirts and a chance to promote their program."
* "Our City of Firsts Basketball Classic provided the Bate basketball program an opportunity to work during the classic and keep the financial profits."
In late December, Pippen denied rumors he was planning on resigning. "There is no truth to that at all. I am actually enjoying my job here now more than I ever have," he said then. "The kids are working hard and we're doing things like the character enrichment; and a lot of teaching, a lot of coaching. I'm in a situation now where everything is going in the right direction, and I have no plans to leave."
But Pippen said Thursday he had no regrets about his time at Danville even though his team has not been competitive in numerous games this year.
"Everyone wants to win. Winning is a big part of what draws people to this profession. It would have been nice to win more games and cut down more nets. However, looking back, I tried to do everything out of character. That's the only way I know how to coach," he stated.
"No amount of wins or championships can replace the importance or presence of character enrichment that is instilled in our basketball program. I have no regrets and would do everything the same if I had to do it over again."