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Bemidji High School girls basketball coach Rick Kehoe will resign after season

Bemidji High Schools girls basketball head coach Rick Kehoe, shown here during BHS’s game against Duluth East Thursday, announced he will step down after the 2013-14 season ends. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — Bemidji High School girls basketball coach Rick Kehoe will resign at the end of the 2013-14 season.

Kehoe has been the BHS girls basketball coach for eight years. Prior to that he worked with the Lumberjacks boys program for six years and was the varsity boys assistant coach for four of those seasons.

He also spent six years in the Blackduck system, including two years as head coach.

“It is time,” Kehoe said of his plans to retire. “When you are head coach the coaching part of the job is the easy part. But dealing with everything else that goes with the job is tough.

“I love working with the girls and I love coaching and five or six years ago I had more energy to do the other things that needed to be done. But after 20 years of coaching I am tired and I think the time has come to step down.”

In 2010 Bemidji posted a 25-2 overall record and advanced to the state tournament where the Lumberjacks lost 65-49 to Sartell in the quarterfinals. Kehoe will always remember that season but when he looks back on his coaching stint at BHS he will also recall last winter’s loss to Rogers in the opening round of the section playoffs.

The Jacks were seeded No. 7 and had to make the long trip to No. 2 Rogers on a Tuesday night. During the regular season Rogers blistered Bemidji 66-31 but in the playoff rematch the Lumberjacks came close to pulling off the upset, losing only 53-48.

“That game is one that will stick out in my mind because of how we came back against a team that handily defeated us in the regular season. We had a lead late in the game and almost pulled it out,” Kehoe said.

“That performance demonstrated how much we had improved and, for the most part, every team I coached was better at the end of the year than it was at the beginning. And I am proud of that. To me, being better at the end of the year is a successful season.”

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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