Mukilteo Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By David Pan 

Keith Kingsbury: His lessons endure

Longtime Edmonds Community College basketball coach dies at age 80


Last updated 9/22/2020 at 1:35pm

Photo courtesy of Snohimish County Sports Hall of Fame

Keith Kingsbury had a 32-year-career as Edmonds Community College men's basketball coach.

Keith Kingsbury coached hundreds and hundreds of players during his 32-year career as the men's basketball coach at Edmonds Community College.

But his time with his players was limited to only two years maximum, and some players left after only a year.

It didn't matter.

However short their playing career was with Kingsbury, the lessons he taught on and off the court endured.

"When you played for coach, you got a lifetime guarantee of a friend," said Mountlake Terrace High School boys basketball coach Nalin Sood. "You got a lifetime guarantee of a mentor."

Kingsbury, 80, died Aug. 24 after a battle with cancer.

The winningest coach in school history, Kingsbury won 570 games and led the Tritons to a Northwest Athletic Conference championship in 1985. His teams made 18 playoff appearances with three top-4 finishes, including second place in 1993. More than 100 players moved on to play at four-year schools, and 25 went on to careers at Division I schools.

Mariner High School principal Nate DuChesne was one of those Division I players.

DuChesne, a Snohomish graduate, had planned to attend Seattle University but changed his mind when the coach was fired. DuChesne knew Kingsbury through the open gyms at the school. He decided to go to Edmonds in order to open up his recruiting options.

DuChesne later signed with the University of Montana. Like so many who played under Kingsbury, he eventually went into coaching at the high school and collegiate levels.

"His greatest impact on me as a player was how he simplified the game," DuChesne said. "He taught basic principles, and then he allowed us to play with freedom. He trusted his players, and he instilled a tremendous amount of confidence in us. I tried to apply some of these principles as a coach."

Sood went to Edmonds after graduating from Mountlake Terrace, and was red-shirting for a year. He also had the opportunity to volunteer at Mountlake Terrace under Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame coach Roger Ottmar. So he spent mornings with Kingsbury, a member of three halls of fame, and afternoons with Ottmar.

"I was the luckiest person in the world, to go to work with two of the greatest coaches in Washington," Sood said.

A particular strength of Kingsbury's was his ability to recruit players with different personalities, talents, and egos, and meld them into one cohesive unit.

"He did that as well as anybody I've ever seen," Sood said. "He was a master at bringing people together and putting out amazing basketball teams."

After his redshirt year, Sood stayed around Kingsbury and the basketball program.

"I was in the gym regularly, picking coach Kingsbury's mind on basketball, life, teaching and pretty much everything," Sood said. "I soaked in as much as I could. I don't think there was ever a shortage of me needing coach Kingsbury advice, suggestions and ideas. He was a person I could always count on."

DuChesne remembers how much Kingsbury cared about his players after they moved on.

"His concern for his players went well beyond what they could do for him on the court."

DuChesne sought out his former coach long after the one season he played for him.

"I was in contact with coach Kings even after playing for him 35 years ago," DuChesne said. "I continued to seek his advice in my professional career, particularly when I started coaching college basketball. Coach Kingsbury will be greatly missed, but his influence will remain with many."

Sood also remembers how generous Kingsbury was.

"I was an 18-year-old kid. He always made time for me ... three, four or 30 minutes, as busy as he was," Sood said. "Coach cared about everyone. I wasn't a star on the team. I was just a guy hanging around the program. He found a spot for me."

Kingsbury was voted into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, the Northwest Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame. He also taught physical education at Edmonds. Kingsbury was an assistant coach for four years before being named head coach.

Details of a memorial service will be announced later.


Reader Comments


Our Family of Publications Includes:

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2020

Rendered 10/18/2020 15:17