CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bob Lemley likens his tenure as football coach at Poca to a famous quote by Mae West.
"Like she said,'' Lemley said, "I've been rich and I've been poor, but rich is better.''
Lemley, if nothing else, has been able to keep his sense of humor as he steps down after 24 seasons of coaching the Dots.
That stretch includes four Class AA state championships, with three in a row from 2001-03. However, it also includes just two playoff berths in 10 years since that final title, with a 1-9 record this past season.
His career record at Poca stands at 141-128, with the victory total representing a school record. Lemley was also 23-7 in playoff games, with the four titles and a runner-up finish in 1996 to East Bank.
On Thursday, Lemley sent his letter of resignation to Poca principal Vic Donalson and the county superintendent's office.
"I've been thinking about it a long time,'' Lemley said. "I just decided it might be time to do it. I enjoy coaching. The losses wear on you a little bit more, and that's been the case the last few years. Friday nights have been kind of tough. I just felt it was time after 24 years.
"When you think about it, it's like a roller coaster. I've been at the bottom of the barrel and the top of the barrel.''
Lemley, 67, a graduate of Huntington East High School and Marshall, came to Poca High in 1990 after spending 20 years at Poca Middle as a football, basketball and track coach. Prior to that, he served as an assistant baseball coach at Logan for one season.
By his reckoning, Lemley has spent 59 straight years on athletic fields somewhere, starting as a Little League, high school, then college athlete, followed by 21/2 seasons of minor league baseball as an infielder in the Cincinnati Reds organization, then his lengthy coaching career in Putnam County.
He first reached the pinnacle in 1994 with a state football championship in the inaugural Super Six game held in Wheeling, beating Cardinal Conference rival Sissonville in the title game.
During the Dots' three-peat stretch to start the millennium, they beat Bridgeport 21-7 for the 2001 crown, then followed it with back-to-back wins over Bluefield in the title game, including an OT victory in the snow and mud.