Robert Ownby, far left, worked as an assistant basketball coach under four different coaches. As head coach, he wants to build up the youth basketball
Robert Ownby, far left, worked as an assistant basketball coach under four different coaches. As head coach, he wants to build up the youth basketball program to help strengthen the Lady Blues team. (David Flynn)
Since 2007, Robert Ownby has roamed the sidelines in the Graham gymnasium.

He coached volleyball and basketball, yet he didn't have to make the game-on-the-line decisions.

That's because until Monday, he was the assistant.

But getting the head coaching job was exactly what he wanted.

“I don't have dreams or aspirations to go off to some big giant school somewhere away,” Ownby said. “My wife and I both grew up here, our families are both here. I want to see Graham succeed.”

A Graham native and former Steers basketball player, Ownby would spend afternoons playing basketball in the Graham gym until his parents got off work around 5p.m. When he was with friends, all they wanted to do was play basketball.

When Ownby graduated from Graham High School in 2001, he didn't know what he wanted to do. He followed his girlfriend, Joanie, to College Station. She attended Texas A&M while he enrolled at Blinn College.

He then transferred to UNT where he graduated in 2006 with a teaching degree in mathematics. Just a few months later, he married Joanie.

After college, Ownby returned to Graham and took a teaching job at the junior high. The opportunity to coach came around Christmas break when the high school needed a women's junior varsity basketball coach.

Read the rest of the story in this weekend's Graham Leader.