ELNORA — North Daviess has experienced a resurgence in its girls basketball program, but next year a new coach will take the reigns.
Ron Knepp has stepped down after eight years with the Cougars basketball program and the last five years as the head coach. Knepp took over a program that was in need of rebuilding. After winning only nine games total in his first two years, he led North Daviess to a 41-24 record. With the graduation of this year’s senior class, which included Knepp’s daughter, Meghan, Sabra Smith, Maggie Swartzentruber and Abby Hollis, it was time for a change.
“People don’t realize this, but every year I have always stopped in March and tried to reflect on if I wanted to continue on,” Knepp said.
Knepp nearly stepped away due to the heavy workload that he was dealing with at that time. He stuck around for the last two years and the Cougars program was better for that opportunity. North Daviess’ past two seasons ended with losses in the sectional to Barr-Reeve by a combined eight points, but the Cougars won 32 games in those two years.
“A couple years ago, I tried to get someone else to coach this group,” Knepp said. “I wanted to sit back and be a fan and just watch, but I couldn’t find anyone, so I committed to come back and take them through. I sat down again this March and I looked at my schedule. I work 45-50 hours per week, plus I put in 30 in basketball. It’s exhausting, I’ve been doing this for eight years, I’ve been the head coach for five, the foundation is there for the program. We have four kids returning, the numbers are up. It’s a good time for someone new to come in and take what’s new and build on it. Hopefully they can find someone better than me.”