“I am the luckiest man on earth, because I’ve gotten to coach with my friends.”
The speaker was veteran Ravenswood head cross country coach Bryan Canterbury.
“Some people coach with people they like. But I have always gotten to coach with my really close friends. That has been really special.”
And for Canterbury, there is no closer friend than Tim Rector.
“We’ve been friends for 50 years. We became friends in fourth or fifth grade,” Canterbury said.
Actually it would be easier to call their friendship a brotherhood.
“Bryan and I go way back, it has been a lot of fun being with him,” Rector said.
The two have coached runners together and have also been very much involved with Ravenswood basketball through the years.
Sadly, the close of the 2018 cross country season brought to an end Rector's phenomenal coaching career at Ravenswood.
Rector has been a part of the running scene for a long, long time in Ravenswood. He was a standout distance runner for Red Devil track and field back in the day and also competed in some cross country events.
After graduating in 1976, Rector took his running talents to West Virginia State, where Canterbury was also attending and starring in football.
When Rector returned to Ravenswood years later as a teacher, he not only continued to run competitively but also started sharing his knowledge as a coach.
Rector coached Ravenswood cross country from 1989-1992.
In 1992, his girls won the state title while the boys finished as runner-up in what was then an all-class format.
In the Unofficial State Meet, his girls and boys won Class AA-A.
Canterbury feels he would have coached at least two boys state title teams had Class AA-A existed back then along with producing several other All-State runners.
He came back to the scene and became Ravenswood cross country’s associate head coach starting in 2001 until this past season.
Rector’s running resume includes being a part of 11 state championships (nine boys and two girls), two state runner-up teams (boys in all classes and Class A), two boys state champs and nine All-Staters, a state champion girls and seven All-Staters.
In addition, Rector was involved with 13 regional championships for the boys and seven for the girls, 10 boys Little Kanawha Conference crowns and three on the girls side.
After his four-year career as a lineman at West Virginia State came to an end, Canterbury became an avid runner and was inspired by Rector
Besides running, Rector was a vital cog in Ravenswood basketball for several years. He won a title in the LKC at the freshmen level. He also coached at the middle school level.
Later, Rector spent many years on the varsity bench with head coach Mick Price, Canterbury and Don Brown. He made three trips to the Final Four with Devil basketball.
For good measure, Rector also coached golf at his alma mater.
“I’ve coached every level of basketball. I love coaching in general,” Rector said.
He left the basketball scene a few years ago and decided to step away from guiding cross country runners wasn’t easy.
“I’ll miss it,” he said. “Being with Bryan has been special. We know each other so well. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
One thing to keep Rector busy is a new grandson. His son, Brett, a former Ravenswood All-Stater in both basketball and football, is the proud father of his own son, Bryce.
“It keeps you busy,” said Time.
There’s little doubt one day soon he will be sharing his love for sports with his grandson.
Canterbury knows it won’t be the same without Rector on hand for future cross country practices and meets. “It will be different,” he said.
As successful as Rector was at coaching, Canterbury said he should best be remembered for his work in the classroom as a math teacher.
“He taught all the highest level math classes and had many successful students score high on the ACT test, the SAT test and AP exam every year,” Canterbury said. “He helped his students get to high level colleges to further their education. He was no-nonsense. He helped produce All-Staters and state champs as a coach, but his greatest fame was helping mold great students.”
Spoken like a true friend.
Or shall we say, a brother.
It’s safe to say, Tim Rector was a success as an educator and coach.
Quite simply, it was quite a run.