— Lee Underwood has stepped down as boys basketball coach at Jamestown High School.
Underwood spent 18 years in charge of the Eagles' program, leading the team to the 2007 Bay Rivers District regular-season crown and three district tournament titles.
The longest tenured coach at the school, Underwood announced the decision Wednesday night following his team's 68-44 loss to Grafton in the Group 4A Conference 19 semifinals.
"It was just a thing that I needed to do at this point in my life," Underwood said. "Coaching, to me, is always about the kids and helping the student-athletes grown. Being able to do that in an environment, they choose to be involved with, and enjoy being a part of it was enjoyable to me."
He was the second-longest tenured boys coach in the district, behind Tabb's Doug Baggett.
Underwood, who also has coached varsity baseball and was an assistant golf coach during his time at Jamestown, said the demands of the job with the year-round coaching has taken him away from his family.
"The toughest part is the time requirements," he said. "Coaching a single sport has become an 11-month job with the new year-long practice opportunities."
Zack Lindfors, a senior forward on this year's squad, said that Underwood had taken the team out to eat following Tuesday's conference win over Powhatan. Lindfors said Underwood's decision caught the team by surprise.
"Our team was shocked," he said. "We didn't know about it until after the last game. He was a great coach and easy to get along with."
Brandon Brown played for Underwood at Jamestown, and has spent six years as his assistant.
"My experience with him has been awesome," Brown said. "His door has always been open to help and I'm sure as a math teacher, his door is still going to be open to the program for help
"Being one of his players and then working right beside him (as a coach), I've had a chance to see both sides of the lens. As high school kids, I think we've all had a perception of how we want things as far as playing time and wins and loses and as coaches we want the kids to buy into the process of learning the game and working hard to be in position to win games.
"When he initially asked me to coach, I honestly was surprised. I wasn't a guy that played a lot, but he was always welcoming helpful toward me so he definitely helped me grow up as a kid fresh out of college."
Harvey can be reached by phone at 757-345-2352.