MURRAY — David Carr and the Region 1 Basketball Tournament are about like peanut butter and jelly.
They simply go together.
For 16 years, Carr, who coached multiple sports and served as director of athletics at Murray High, was the tournament’s director. He retired from the position last year.
Yet, there he was on the final day of this year’s tournament, doing what he has for his 16-year stint as director and several years before that of assisting his predecessor, Dr. John Yates … watch the action intently. However, he made sure to note that he did not have an active role.
It only appeared that way as he sat at the scorer’s table of the CFSB Center on the Murray State campus.
“I’m just sitting there this year,” he said of how he opted for the same seat he has had for Murray State men’s and women’s games since the Racers moved to the larger, more modern facility after spending many years at Cutchin Fieldhouse, more commonly known as Racer Arena. He has served several roles with Murray State, from play-by-play compilation to his current role as television timeout monitor.
“They let me pick out my own seat. So I picked that one,” he said. “I started out in the Murray State sports information office in 1964 and I would type play-by-play for football and basketball games on a manual typewriter. Now, I’m the TV timeout guy because I figure I can’t screw that up too bad. Besides, (former Murray High and now-Murray State Women’s Head Coach) Rechelle (Turner) is not going to scream at me if it’s wrong.”
And so far, it appears his decision to hand over control of the tournament has not resulted in too much drama either. The Region 1 Athletic Directors Association, which put him in charge of the event, chose the duo of former Murray High basketball assistant Brent Lovett and former longtime Hickman County Head Boys Basketball Coach and Athletic Director Henry Edwards to take the reins of the tourney.
Lovett, who was at Murray High during Carr’s time as A.D., said he is honored to join Edwards in assuming command.
“I’ve known David probably for 25 years. He was A.D. and I got to coach with him some. He’s just a great guy,” said Lovett, who has returned to the district of his alma mater, Marshall County High School in Draffenville, and now serves as the director of pupil personnel for Marshall County Schools. “So it was the athletic directors (of the region) that asked (he and Edwards) if we wanted to do it and we love it and we’ve taken advantage of it. It’s a great opportunity for the kids of the communities in the region and we want to make it a good experience for all of them.”
Lovett also said something has become obvious. Though he and Edwards will try, finding ways to improve the tournament are difficult, because of how Carr ran the show.
“He has set the bar very high,” said Lovett, who said that he talked with his former boss at Murray High about the tournament and how to keep it free of problems as it approached. “Absolutely! I talked with him multiple times in the last week or so before hand and he was more than gracious and willing to give me advice. Yeah, he wondered if we’d checked on some things, asking ‘Hey! You’ve done this’ or ‘You’ve done that, right?’
“That’s what it takes and he has done an amazing job with it over 16 years. And we’d love to make it better ... if there was anything we could do.”
“If Brent or Henry have a question, I’m here to answer,” Carr said. “So far, they have had a question or two, but nothing big.”
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