Going back to Russell was a "definite goal" in his early coaching days.
After a few years at Raceland, the thought of returning to his roots scooted to the "back of his mind," but it was still undoubtedly there.
When the opportunity finally presented itself, it turned into the toughest decision of his life.
T.J. Maynard has been named Russell High School's head football coach, as officially announced on Thursday, but the days leading up to his final choice were "miserable."
Maynard, 43, has now completed his journey along the Greenup County triangle. He played at Russell from 1984-87 under area coaching legend Ivan McGlone before enjoying a four-year career at the University of Kentucky as a 6-foot-5 offensive lineman.
After pursuing a career path in accounting, he quickly realized teaching and coaching was his calling.
Maynard coached under Bill Baldridge, who had recruited him while at Morehead State, at Greenup County. He took the reins of the Musketeers in 1998 and compiled a 42-34 record in seven seasons at the helm. He is the winningest coach in Greenup County history.
Five seasons as a top Raceland assistant, mainly served as a defensive coordinator, followed. In four years as Raceland's head coach, his 34-16 record culminated with the program's first region championship and first state semifinal appearance. He also guided the Rams to their 500th program win.
Look for complete story in Friday's edition.