Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Russ McKinstry resigns from Lewis-Palmer as AD, boys' hoops coach

By Scott Kaniewski Updated: June 25, 2013 at 9:04 am 0

Logging too many miles finally got to Russ McKinstry.

After back-to-back boys' basketball state titles at Lewis-Palmer, the Rangers coach and athletic director is getting to stay closer to home.

Over the weekend, McKinstry accepted the athletic director position at Chaparral High School in Parker, 2 miles from his house. McKinstry has resigned both his athletic director and boys' basketball coaching positions at Lewis-Palmer.

"It (the travel) really is the only reason," McKinstry said. "I absolutely love L-P, and the kids and parents and the administration were just really great to me and my family. But it reached a point where the impact of that commute got to the point I was spreading myself too thin."

McKinstry will not coach next season at Chaparral, who under coach Rob Johnson won the 2011-12 5A state title.

Lewis-Palmer principal Sandi Brandl said the search for a new AD is underway, but McKinstry will be missed.

"It was amazing," Brandl said of having McKinstry at the school. "He has a real talent for developing kids across the board, from character to athletic talent. He was a real plus for our program."

The Rangers boys' basketball team went 25-3 in 2012-13, crowning the season with a 51-40 win over Valor Christian in March for its second straight title. The year prior, the Rangers went 27-1 and claimed their first boys' hoops title since 1994.

In his five seasons, McKinstry coached the Rangers to a 114-23 record.

Outgoing Chaparral athletic director Gary Thompson, who is taking the same job at Grandview, likes the hire.

"I think he'll do a great job," Thompson said. "He's an experienced athletic director and knows what the job entails and he's going to a great school."

Bill Benton, McKinstry's top assistant varsity coach, will take over as Lewis-Palmer's new boys' basketball coach.

Not being around the game will take some getting used to, McKinstry admitted.

"I'm going to miss the day-to-day teachings of the game," he said. "I'm going to miss the relationships with the players and staff, hanging around with those guys in the offseason and locker room after games. That's really what I think coaching is about."

While McKinstry goes out a two-time champ, he credited those titles to Monument.

"It's something I'm proud of based on the effort of the community to make that happen," he said.

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