Isaac Liber is a testament to coaching longevity in an era in which it is rarely seen anymore.
But after 33 seasons at various schools and 646 career victories, Liber is calling it a career.
“I was thinking about it for the last couple of years,” Liber said. “Coaching is something that’s been in my blood for a long time. But once this year came around, I felt like the enthusiasm I had for about 30 years wasn’t there anymore and I felt it was time.”
Liber, who had most recently coached at Schoolhouse Prep, a private school in Southwest Miami-Dade, compiled a 646-289 record that ranked second only to Miami High legend Vince Schaeffer on the all-time list of career victories in Miami-Dade County history.
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Liber played guard for the basketball team at Loyola High in the early 1970s during a time when high school basketball was tremendously popular in Dade with legendary teams such as the 1974 “Jackson Five” championship team, Miami High, Carol City and Miami Central dominating the scene.
In 1978, Liber began coaching at Miami Private School and quickly turned that program into a winner.
Liber led Miami Private to a 29-0 record in 1981 and a trip to the Class 1A state final four before losing by one point to Moore Haven in a semifinal.
It was the first of three consecutive visits to the Lakeland Center for his squads, which earned him Miami Herald Small School Coach of the Year honors in 1981-82.
In 1987, Liber took another private school, Berkshire to the state final four, which also earned him Coach of the Year honors.
Liber started and coached numerous other programs over the years such as Horeb Christian and Gettysburg Academy, to name a couple.
Through it all, the love of coaching he said is what kept him wanting to come back and continue being a part of the game year after year.
“I had magnificent teams all the way through and very thankful to all my administrators, schools and athletes and basketball players,” Liber said. “Every program that I started, I started from scratch, and every program I had great assistants and great athletes.”