This time Ronnie Hearne says he's sure about his retirement.
The administration at Tarleton State and Hearne himself are just as sure of his successor.
After 43 years in coaching including the last 11 as head coach at Tarleton, Hearne, 66, announced his retirement Wednesday morning in a press conference at Wisdom Gym. He leaves the game after 1,056 total wins as a head coach in high school, junior college and NCAA Division II.
"It's been a privilege and an honor being the head coach at Tarleton," said Hearne, who led the TexAnns from the cellar to the top tier of the Lone Star Conference. "I love coming to work every day and I love the challenge of every season. But it's time for someone to take my place."
That someone is 12-year Tarleton assistant coach and former star player Misty Wilson. She became the assistant coach the year before Hearne was hired and has been on the bench for 219 wins.
"Do everything Coach Wilson tells you to do and do it exactly the way she wants you to do it," Hearne said of his message to players returning next season. "I told them to surround themselves with the right people and not to forget their spiritual life."
Hearne retires with the program's best win percentage - .617. Before he was hired in 2003, Tarleton was 81-153 as a member of the NCAA. Under Hearne, the TexAnns were 212-107.
His 212 victories with the TexAnns rank second in school history. His 1,000th career victory came on Jan. 4, 2012, at Eastern New Mexico, and his 200th win at Tarleton followed exactly two years later on Jan. 4, 2014, against Texas Woman's in Stephenville.
Hearne guided the TexAnns to their first Lone Star Conference regular season title and first championship in the conference tournament in 2012. In his final season, the TexAnns were second in the LSC, runners-up in the LSC Championship and won a game in the NCAA Division II Championship for only the second time.
It was Tarleton's fifth straight and sixth total trip to the NCAA playoffs and South Central Region Championship, all under Hearne, who coached 32 all-conference selections, four LSC Newcomer of theYear award winners, two LSC Freshman of the Year award winners, three LSC Defensive Players of the Year, a two-time LSC Academic Player of the Year and a Daktronics National Player of the Year who was also a two-time LSC and South Central Region Player of the Year and a two-time All-American.
The last set of honors were all hauled in by Kiara Wright, who was named Daktronics National Player of the Year on Monday. The senior from Pittsburg, Texas was also named to her second straight Daktronics and Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America teams. Wright is the leading scorer and rebounder of Tarleton's NCAA era.
Shelby Adamson was the two-time LSC Academic Player of the Year and was also an honorable-mention All-American under Hearne. Katie Crawford was 2007 LSC Defensive Player of the Year.
"You made the most of your 11 years here," said Tarleton athletic director Lonn Reisman as he read through the list of the TexAnns' achievements under Hearne. "It's been an honor and we are so proud you are part of this athletic family. You will always be a TexAnn and a Texan to us, you always have a home here and will always be a part of this great university."
Hearne was previously a junior college head coach at Cisco College from 1981 to 2003. Before that he guided both boys and girls teams at Millsap and Jacksboro high schools.