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story.lead_photo.caption MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER Former Farmington girls basketball coach and current athletic director Brad Blew will be inducted into the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame on July 13 at Hot Springs. Blew transformed the program into a perennial power, advancing to the state semifinals 8 times, finishing as State Runner-up three times, and winning the 2004 Class 3A State championship.

FARMINGTON -- Former Farmington girls basketball coach, now athletic director, Brad Blew recently elected to the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame witnessed the full spectrum.

"When you're at a place long enough, there's going to be good some times, and you're going to struggle some times," Blew said. "And we certainly saw both ends of that."

Blew said developing good relationships was one of the reasons he coached 23 seasons before retiring from coaching in 2009 with an overall record in the vicinity of 464-162. Blew admitted he hasn't thought about the record for a long time.

"Obviously, I've been very fortunate," Blew said. "One of the keys to longevity is when you're surrounded by great people."

"My wife and kids got to witness all the peaks and valleys a coach goes through during a season," Blew said. "My family did a great job of managing that of being able to read my moods whether good or bad."

Veteran Farmington head football coach Mike Adams, who has coached 39 seasons of football and once served as head girls basketball coach at Charleston, knows what kind of commitment coaching requires.

"If you're going to be successful to that kind of level you have to invest part of your life," Adams said. "You've got to sacrifice and be away from your family to be as successful as Coach Blew was."

Blew gives a shout out to the Farmington administration, which he says was always supportive of the athletic programs.

"Having a successful athletic program, it starts with the administration, ranging from the school board to superintendents all the way down," Blew said. "Along with that I think you have to have good relationships with your players and your fan base. They support you even though they may not agree with everything you do -- that's huge."

"Social media is such a force in today's world. I didn't have to deal with that. When you're a coach and you've got that support that makes a place special."

In Blew's eyes, Farmington ranks right up there with the best of places to live and raise a family. He and his wife, Lori, will celebrate their 30th anniversary in May. Blew's daughter, Taylor Blew-Abrecht, played for her daddy, graduating the year he left the coaching ranks. When learning of her father's election to the Hall of Fame the only way she could express that feeling was to pour out tears of joy.

Blew's son, Bo Blew, served as water boy for Farmington's 2004 State 3A champions coached by his dad. Bo is now a graduate student at Purdue.

"Farmington has been a very, good place," Blew said. "I'm so blessed and fortunate to be a part of this school district. I know this place is always home for me. Me and my family we have been treated so well here."

"I'm just very, very lucky," Blew said. "I'm pretty humbled by all of this. When you're put into a group of legendary coaches and you're going to be in with the best of the best the state's ever had -- that's pretty cool. To get in (the Hall of Fame) knowing you have to be voted on by coaches across this state, that's a pretty satisfying thing."

Ironically, Blew's mindset concentrated on becoming a baseball coach in his youth. He played high school baseball at Fayetteville and his freshman season at Crowder Junior College in Neosho, Mo., a connection which is maintained today which is reflected in the number of Farmington athletes receiving scholarships to Crowder. Blew transferred to the University of Arkansas with baseball still a priority.

"I played a little bit (of baseball) up here," he says modestly. "I always thought I'd be a baseball coach, but women's basketball were always the doors that opened for me and I am forever grateful for that. It worked out for me, I promise you that."

Sports on 02/07/2018

Print Headline: Support Key To Longevity

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