Earlier this year, West Ashley boys’ basketball coach Ronnie DuPre recorded his career 500th victory. Then, following a respectable season in which the Wildcats made it to the second round of the playoffs, DuPre was inducted into the the South Carolina Basketball Coaches’ Hall of Fame.
DuPre has coached for three decades at James Island and West Ashley high schools. He has won a state championship with the Trojans and has been to the Lowerstate Finals four times. He has been named Region Coach of the Year eight times, and was named Post & Courier Boy’s Lowcountry Coach of the Year on two separate occasions. DuPre coached the South Carolina All-Star team in the North-South Game.
West Of had the opportunity to chat with the accomplished basketball coach about his achievements on the court and what his future might hold. Here is part of that conversation:
West Of: What’s it feel like to be inducted into the SC Basketball Coaches’ Hall of Fame?
Ronnie DuPre:
It was quite an honor to be inducted into the SC Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. To be a member of the same group as former NBA coach George Glymph and multiple State Championship winning coaches like Tim Whipple of Irmo and John Smith of Great Falls was never really a goal of mine. Locally, to be selected along with Paul Runey of Bishop England and Earl Brown of Burke, it is an honor because I know the great influence they have had on young people in the area.
WO: Where does this rank on memorable moments in your career?
This ranks very high in terms of memorable moments in my coaching career. But it is more about the players. It is not so much about what I have done in the past 25 or 30 years but it is more about what the players are going to accomplish in the next 25 or 30 years. One of the goals has always been to help the young men grow and mature to become positive contributors to their community.
WO: What else, if anything, do you hope to accomplish before hanging up your whistle?
I would really like to get West Ashley High into the Lower State Championship or State Championship game. We’ve had several teams that were probably good enough to advance to the Lower State Finals but because of pairings or a poor performance at an inopportune time we have fallen short.
WO: Since basketball is a team sport, who do you credit with helping you achieve this honor?
The success of any program depends on having outstanding players who are willing to sacrifice some personal goals for the good of the team. I have had a ton of kids who did that. One needs supportive administrators, outstanding assistant coaches, and dedicated volunteers and I have been extremely fortunate to have had all of those.
WO: What does the future hold for you?
My goal is to get the Wildcats deep into the playoffs so our community can be proud and get excited and our student body can generate and demonstrate their school spirit. I am motivated by the thought of that happening.

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