On Wednesday, March 20, Kory Kiekhoefer announced on Twitter his decision to step down from the head coach position of the New Life Academy boys' basketball team. Hours after his post, New Life Academy activities director Kevin Kleiner confirmed Kiekhoefer's resignation.
Kiekhoefer has coached the Eagles the past two seasons, and had five years of coaching experience prior to his position with New Life.
"Kory was a great coach for New Life and taught these players more than just the game of basketball," Kleiner said. "He was able to teach them life lessons as well. He will be missed, but we wish him the best with his future and he will always be a part of the New Life family."
In the 2017-18 season, the Eagles finished with an 18-8 record and a section championship game appearance where New Life lost to Minnehaha Academy. In the 2018-19 season, New Life dropped to 11-15, and lost early in the section tournament.
Kiekhoefer's Twitter post had a two-page statement describing his decision to step down and reflecting on the past two seasons at New Life. He said on Twitter that he wanted to refocus his attention on his career in financial planning.
Part of the statement read, "It was becoming increasingly difficult to wholeheartedly pursue career development, while striving to maintain a standard of excellence in all aspects of the NLA Boys Basketball Program."
Kiekhoefer said he will continue to be involved in basketball at some capacity, but he's not sure how that will look in the future.
Another part of the statement read, "I am truly thankful for all the players, assistants, managers, and admin that have helped me along the way. I have been blessed to work with some incredible people in my time as a head coach at both Bethany Academy and New Life Academy."
The search will start to find a new head boys' basketball coach and Kleiner is confident he'll find a strong candidate for the position. He's appreciated everything Kiekhoefer has done for this program over the past two seasons and he's excited about the future of the boys basketball program in the future.
"I'm excited for the next head coach and continuing the success this program has had under Kory," Kleiner said. "It'll be a fun upcoming season and I'm confident we'll find the right person for the head coaching position."
Kleiner said he's looking to fill the position either in mid-May or end of May before the summer hits because it'll give the new coach time to understand the community and the future players.