Columbia High School boys basketball head coach Mark Sandstrom announced his resignation from the program due to family and personal reasons after 14 seasons.
“I can no longer make the time commitment which is needed for the program to continue to be successful under my direction,” he said. “My daughter, Claire, is very active with numerous sports and I started to miss some of those things the last couple of years and it really bothered me. I can always coach again, but I won’t be able to get that time back with her.”
Sandstrom’s Eagles finished its 2018-19 season with a record of 19-13 following a loss last Wednesday to Herrin in the Class 3A Freeburg Regional semifinals.
Columbia captured a share of the Cahokia Conference Mississippi Division crown this year, marking the third conference title with Sandstrom at the helm.
Sandstrom said he will continue to teach at CHS.
His overall career hoops coaching record is 336-201, including 252 wins at Columbia and 84 victories at Abingdon.
He has won eight regional titles overall, including six in Columbia (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016 and 2018).
“Basketball started to consume me – my guts, mind and emotions – but it had to be that way in order to be successful and do it the right way,” Sandstrom said. “The time commitment and my passion to win had increased significantly in order to compete with private schools who recruit, the public schools who have 5-6 feeders, schools where basketball is king, and the jump up to 3A class level. I still want to enjoy the game instead of being absolutely consumed by it.”
Sandstrom’s 2008-09 squad went 27-5. The Eagles also enjoyed a 22-7 campaign under Sandstrom in the 2015-16 season.
“I’m most proud of the tremendous relationships I have with my former loyal players after their basketball careers were completed,” Sandstrom said. “It’s always great to see them now and in the future to reminisce.”