Roelfs steps down as head coach, joins as assistant as Jordan Woods leads varsity basketball


Photo by: Francisco Castaneda

Head coach Jordan Woods discusses a play during time out of the first round of substate against Blue Valley Southwest. The Dragons won and hosted Spring Hill in the substate championship game on Saturday, March 6.

Story by Ian Sullivan, Reporter

After 21 years of leading the PHS basketball team as head coach, Kiley Roelfs announced his retirement.

“At the end of last season, I decided it was time to step down. The main reason is that it just felt like it was time. I had done it for so long and it was just time to move on and let there be a new voice leading the program,” Kiley said.

The new voice that Kiley was referring to is former assistant coach, Jordan Woods.

“The transition was about as smooth as it could be despite being limited in the summer with activities and not playing in teams camps like we normally do,” Woods said. “Being in the program before was a great benefit.”

According to Woods, Kiley was helpful throughout the transition process.

“Coach Roelfs has helped in countless ways, there is a lot that goes into coaching besides getting to show up and play games and he has helped tremendously a lot in that aspect and just having someone to talk to that has experienced the same things.”

One of the first things Woods did as head coach was request that Kiley return as an assistant.

“I was honored to have Coach Woods ask me to stay on as part of his staff.  I have so much respect for him and what he has done for our program and students,” Kiley said. “Staying on the staff also gave me the opportunity to continue to be around my son Grant while he is playing the game and I really do love the game.”

The future of the program is really bright with Coach Woods in charge

— Kiley Roelfs

Kiley has enjoyed his role change in the basketball program.

“I enjoy trying to help our student-athletes improve and potentially get ready for the varsity level. I have really enjoyed the change.”

Junior Grant Roelfs has spent all three years playing basketball with his father on the coaching staff.

“It has been weird,” Grant said. “But he’s still the freshmen coach, so it’s nice to still have him around.”

Grant believes that Woods has handled the team well.

“Coach Woods has done a good job this year dealing with the COVID guidelines and also having us prepared for games,” Grant said.

According to Kiley, he is enjoying his spare time.

“The extra time has just given me time to do a few more things around home and with my family which has been really good,” Kiley said. “Less stress is always a good thing and it has definitely made a difference in my day.”

The varsity team finished the season 14-7 under Woods, and won the SEK title. After beating Blue Valley Southwest and Spring Hill in substate, the Dragons punched their ticket into the state tournament. The Dragons ended up losing in the state tournament to the De Soto Wildcats, 67-42.

“[Our] first season went pretty good, we learned a lot as a team and I learned a lot as a coach,” Woods said. “We ended up having a good season.”

In the end, Woods was glad to have Kiley alongside him.

“Coach Roelfs helped a ton this season, with having a lot of experience and just being a good person to be around who loves the game of basketball.”

According to Kiley, he enjoyed watching both the junior varsity and varsity teams.

“The JV and varsity teams had a great season led by Coach Woods and Coach Elkamil,” Kiley said. “It was really fun to watch those teams progress throughout the season.” 

Kiley believes that Woods has the program going in the right direction.

“It all came together at the right time and they were playing their best basketball at the end of the season which is always a sign of good coaching,” Kiley said. “The future of the program is really bright with Coach Woods in charge.”