XENIA — After more than 300 wins, a handful of league titles, and the opportunity to coach a Mr. Basketball, Kent Anderson has decided to step down as Xenia boys basketball coach.
He made his resignation official Monday and informed his assistant coaches and players.
“It’s just the right time,” Anderson, a Xenia alumnus, said. “I’ve coached six different sports over 37 years. There comes a time when it’s just enough. It’s been a great run. It’s time for a change.”
In addition to coaching boys and girls basketball at Xenia, Anderson has coached football, golf, soccer, track and baseball at either the high school or junior high school level. He estimated he’s coached around 1,500 games at Greenon — where he started his career — and Xenia.
In 30 of the 37 years, Anderson said he coached at least two sports. In 22 years, he coached three sports.
“It wears on you after a while,” Anderson said.
He went 67-65 at Greenon, 92-35 coaching the Xenia girls, and 144-131 coaching the Xenia boys. Under Anderson, Xenia won one girls league title and three boys league titles. He also coached 2019 Ohio Mr. Basketball Samari Curtis.
“We’ve been so blessed over the years,” Anderson said. “I’ve had so many good coaches that I’ve gotten to coach with here in Xenia. My administrators, especially my athletic directors, have been great to work for since I’ve been here. They knew what you needed as a coach to be successful.”
Anderson’s success wasn’t limited to the basketball court. He led the Xenia girls golf team to back-to-back league titles including its first outright title in the fall. The Bucs were 13-0 and were the first XHS girls golf team to go undefeated and win that many matches. They also made two straight district tournament appearances and will likely be inducted into the athletic hall of fame when eligible in five years.
Anderson said he will still coach golf in the fall if there are enough players to field a team. And he will still root for the Bucs 24/7.
“I bleed Xenia blue and I want these kids to do well,” Anderson said.
His love of all things Xenia is a big reason he chose now to resign.
“I’ve got to give (athletic director) Nathan (Kopp) some time to get a replacement going,” Anderson said. “I want to see whoever comes in do well. We’ve got a real good incoming freshman class. I want to give somebody time to put their stamp on it.”
It will be hard to match the indelible mark Anderson has left on Xenia athletics.
“When I think of Xenia sports, I think of Kent Anderson and the Anderson family,” Kopp said. “One of the attractive things for me coming here five years ago was knowing I would have a friendly face … that was Kent, who I coached against. He could help me along the way.”
Kopp cited the “behind the scene” things Anderson has always done for his teams.
“He went above and beyond,” Kopp said. “Not because it benefited him. It benefited the kids.”
Those kids — his players — are what Anderson will miss the most.
“The sense of family that we’ve developed,” he said. “The kids that always come back. They always come back and give you a hug.”
After 37 years, no doubt there’s been lots of them.