John Paul Geniesse resigned as Woodland Park’s boys’ basketball coach after seven seasons.
Geniesse, 39, turned in his resignation Friday. He accepted a new position as coach of Harrisburg High School in northeast Arkansas.
“I’m going to finish out the school year here and move back to Arkansas the end of June,” Geniesse said. “It will be tough to leave Colorado, but I’m looking forward to this new opportunity.”
Geniesse directed the Panthers to a 5-9 record last season, 4-8 in the Class 3A Tri-Peaks League.
Woodland Park played in the 4A Metro League his first six seasons at the school, but declining enrollment forced the Panthers to move down in classification.
Geniesse never achieved his on-the-court goal of leading Woodland Park to the postseason.
“We got close a couple of times, but we never quite made it over the hill,” Geniesse said. “I firmly believe this program is in much better hands and in much better shape than before I got here seven years ago. I’ve put a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears into this thing.”
Geniesse never had a winning season, but the investment he made in players went beyond basketball.
“He was really focused on making you a better person outside the court,” said Skye Ciccarelli, a 2019 graduate and the program’s all-time leader in career points with more than 1,500.
Josh Bodin, a 2018 alum and four-year letterman, credits Geniesse with helping to pave a positive course in his life.
“He has helped me out with things beyond basketball,” Bodin said. “He’s like my second dad. And as a coach he’s the best.”
Prior to Woodland Park, Geniesse spent six years at Discovery Canyon. He started the program from scratch in 2007. His 2012-13 team went 17-8 and defeated Vista PEAK Prep in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
Following that season, Geniesse became an assistant coach at NAIA Doane University in Crete, Neb. He was there for one season before returning to Colorado and taking over the Woodland Park program.
A graduate of Sheridan High School in Denver, Geniesse’s first coaching job was assistant at the University of Great Falls (Mont.) from 2005-07.
Woodland Park athletic director Joe Roskam posted the job description on the Colorado High School Activities Association website earlier this week and hopes to post the position in district in the next few days.
“We want to hire a coach as soon as we can,” Roskam said. “We have summer coming up quick and we have to get rolling.
“We have a talented group of kids coming back.”
Among the Woodland Park players expected to return next year is Sonny Ciccarelli. Last season as a sophomore he averaged a team-best 17.2 points.