Local high school basketball coach to retire after over 40 years

Local Sports

SILVER LAKE, Kan. (KSNT) – Loren Ziegler has been coaching basketball for over four decades. On Thursday, he celebrated his last home game before retirement.

Ziegler has been coaching the Silver Lake girls basketball team for over 40 years. He started out as an assistant coach for a few years until he transitioned into head coach. When he’s not on the court coaching these girls, Ziegler also teaches business.

He’s also been an assistant coach for football, track & field and volleyball.

“I’ve had a lot of fun. [I’ve] had a lot of great teams, a lot of great players, a lot of current players that are doing a great job, a lot of former players that still live in Shawnee County, Silver Lake, Topeka area which is great to see them,” Ziegler said. “Just been a great job and a fun career.”

Ziegler was honored Thursday night as he and the senior girls celebrated their last home game.

Friends, family, former players, current players and fans signed a banner outside the gym, congratulating him on this milestone.

Ziegler left his mark both on and off the court.

“I’ve been around Ziegz since I was in 8th grade,” said Tori Smith, a junior player. “He’s a super positive guy. I’ve never heard a negative thing out of his mouth. He’s just constantly trying to build other people up that are around him. It’s just a very good experience to be around him and just have been involved in things with him”

Coach Ziegler said one of his best memories on the court are the relationships he’s developed with his players.

Two years ago, Coach Ziegler reached his 700th career win.

In 2015, he led the Eagles to an undefeated state title run.

When asked if there were any bad memories, Coach Ziegler laughed and said, “every loss I’ve had.” He said if there were any negative feelings, he would’ve gotten out of coaching 30 years ago.

With retirement, Coach Ziegler isn’t completely slowing down. He said he’ll still substitute teach and he plans to cut his hours back from 60 to 30 hours a week.

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