ROANOKE, VA(WFXR) — From the battlefield — to the hardwoods of the blue ridge. Patrick Henry high school’s boys basketball head coach — knows a thing or two about strength. Most of us knows Jack Esworthy as the long time Patrick Henry boys basketball coach. He’s also an Army Veteran. He can give an assist to his college roommate in the mid 1980’s for planting the seed to be all he can be.

“I am looking for a job and six months later I am still looking for a job and I said to him, how do I do what you do. He said there is a way he said OCS and it is a tough 6 months and once you come out of the 6 months you are a second lieutenant,” said Esworthy.

Between active duty and reserves he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2015. During his reserve time he was a high school basketball coach in Pennsylvania and in Roanoke. Speaking of coming to the Star City back in 1996, Patrick Henry and William Fleming both head boys basketball openings. Esworthy was up for the Colonels position. He didn’t get the spot. However, PH was in the mix for his services.

“When I said I wasn’t interested, I got a call from Teitlebaum and he said I was the lead candidate for the Patrick Henry job and I said I haven’t interviewed for the job. He said well you kind of did. Howard Light you interviewed with the same people and the William Fleming principal. So came back 2 to 3 days later and I interviewed and got the job,” said Esworthy.

Esworthy’s success on the court has been strong leading the Patriots to long playoff runs. Another way Esworthy is success full is being a cancer survivor as back in 2016 he was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer.

“Things happen in your life, you can look at them and go two ways this is going to make me stronger or a better person or you can look at it as my end. So much we talked about with your wife a little bit tonight before the zoom call you know it is your outlook,” said Esworthy.

Coach Esworthy’s outlook has been strong….he credits his army career, beating cancer and shaping dozens of young people to make him the person he is today.

“And you realize whether is is cancer, the Army or coaching there are some many people helping get him where he is today. It is true but it is the journey,” said Esworthy.

Coach Esworthy says he goes for his check ups with his cancer doctor every year. So far — he’s still cancer free.