Head Coach for Basketball and Math Teacher at Moapa Valley High School
Raised in Utah, Gary Batchelor graduated with a master’s degree in education from Brigham Young University, where he also played on the basketball and baseball teams. Following a job offer to coach basketball and teach math at Moapa Valley High School in 1964, Gary packed his bags and moved to Overton, where he lives today.
”When I arrived here, there were 12 teachers on faculty, and we had about 120 students ranging from 9th grade through 12th grade,” says Gary. ”The community was small, and we built some great friendships.”
Over the course of his tenure at the high school, Gary coached more than 700 varsity basketball games and won five state championships with a simple and direct philosophy: Let’s win!
Known as ”Batch” to his students, Gary understands the importance of the role he played in their lives and in the daily life of the school. ”Sports drive the passion of the school,” he says, ”Everyone gets involved. And sports unify the student body.”
He influenced multiple generations of students, as the kids he taught grew up to become parents and their children started showing up for class. And when his own grandson eventually entered ninth grade and walked through the door to his classroom, he decided it might be a good time to consider packing it in.
Gary retired in 1999, after 35 years of teaching and coaching, but he still remains a vital part of the community. He stays very active in church affairs and continues to support the high school teams.
With more than 30 grandchildren, and over 30 great-grandchildren, Gary states, ”Our retirement years are about family.”
”We’ve had a good life,” he continues. ”It’s important to find a passion—something that gives you joy. For me, it was fun to go to work—and it was great fun to coach. I really loved those kids.”
Update from 2023:
Retired life has continued to be kind to former high school basketball coach Gary Batchelor, who fills his days with his favorite things: sports and family. Between attending high school football games, cheering on his favorite teams from home, and enjoying quality time with his 35 grandkids and 43 great-grandkids, he’s got lots going on. But between all that, he still managed to squeeze in some traveling! Last October, he traveled to Israel—the Holy Land—spending 10 days seeing the sights he’s been studying for years. Gary says it was an amazing experience (although the long plane ride to and back wasn’t his favorite). He continues to stay as involved in the community as possible, because he says it’s the people—especially all the friends he made through CCSD—that make Moapa Valley feel like home.