At the closing of Chris Guhy's retirement ceremony Friday, he was presented with a Caribbean cruise as a parting gift by the booster club. But the former Mayfield basketball coach already knew he had been on quite the voyage over the past three decades.
Some 70 to 80 friends, family and Cardinal supporters gathered at Mayfield-Graves Country Club to look back on Guhy's 17-year career as the high school's basketball coach. In that time, his teams amassed 277 wins; All "A" regional titles in 2003, 2006, 2017-19; an All "A" Classic state Final Four appearance in 2018; Third District championships in 2003, 2007, 2019; First Region runner-up trophies in 2003 and 2017; and this past year's regional championship.
Concluding the event, Guhy again recalled as a young Carlisle County boy coming to Mayfield and seeing the construction of the current Mayfield High School and thinking at the time how awesome it looked.
"When I was leaving school and looking back and I'd think to myself, 'What an awesome place,'" he said of his final days teaching at MHS.
Following two tribute videos, Guhy's oldest son, Luke, spoke about the core values of virtue, diligence and love that he learned from his father and also his basketball coach.
Luke Guhy joked that even in running 10 to 20 laps around the MHS gym, there was a sense of love in the lesson of training, preparation, teamwork, and even consequences.
"There are a lot of memories of guys running around the gym 10 or 20 times," Luke Guhy said. "It was done out of love … and maybe a little bit of anger."
Carlisle County basketball coach Brian O'Neill recalled Guhy's Comet teams from the early 1980s were some of the first he remembered watching as a youngster. Between Guhy's sophomore and senior seasons, the Comets went 76-21.
O'Neill noted the tradition of Carlisle County in the First Region basketball landscape. He said at one time, the region had 15 former Comet players who were coaches or assistants.
"We're a tradition-deep school and Chris was part of that," he said.
Another former Comet and cousin to Guhy, McCracken County basketball coach Burlin Brower said that even when they were coaching against each other when Brower was at pre-consolidation Heath High School, Guhy would congratulate him after wins.
"He'd send me a text. 'Great job. Keep representing,'" Brower recalled.
He also prompted one of the best one-liners of the night when Brower asked if his Mustangs team had won the 2019 regional tournament title game instead of the Cardinals, would he still have been invited to Guhy's retirement dinner.
Guhy's reply: "I probably wouldn't be here, either."
Brower also remembered following that 56-44 loss and walking out of the CFSB Center at Murray State University and seeing Guhy's wife, Mitzi, "and I couldn't be anything but happy."
"The coaching business is like a roller coaster ride," he added of dealing with ups and downs. "When you look back on it, you'll see you really enjoyed it."
After recognizing his wife and mother for their impact on his life, Guhy wrapped up the event by saying, "I grew up a Carlisle County Comet, but at age 23, I became a Mayfield Cardinal."