Kevin Asher was looking for his next challenge as a boys basketball coach.
He found a familiar fit.
After 12 seasons and four state championships at Hastings St. Cecilia, Asher is returning to coach at Wood River.
“My family was the main thing,” said Asher, who went 231-80 with the Bluehawks and has a career record of 444-199. “My kids have gone through the system, and looking towards the future for the next 12-14 years, I want to focus on coaching.
“The job I’m in right now has a lot of hats — AD, head boys basketball coach and I teach four classes. I wanted to lighten things up but I wanted to stay coaching. We wanted to stay in this area for my wife’s job. I wanted to go to a school with good stability and an administration that wants to win.”
Wood River proved to be the choice for Asher, who previously coached the Eagles from 2004-08.
“The people there on the faculty are a lot of the same people from when I was there, so there is that stability in the school,” Asher said.
And Asher is looking to provide stability for the Eagles in the boys basketball program.
“They’re probably at a different level than what I’m used to at St. Cecilia over the past 10 years,” he said. “Looking at the kids and athletes, they want to win. (Football) Coach (Jeff) Ashby is someone I can work with in the PE department. The school has invested $60,000 in equipment and facilities.
“The thing is they’ve had a number of coaches recently. The big thing is stability, and that’s what I want to provide as head coach.”
Asher returns to a different looking Lou-Platte Conference than when he left Wood River, but he knows it’ll still be a competitive challenge each winter.
“It’s always been really strong with athletic-type teams,” he said. “It’s different than when I started in ‘04 when there were state championship type teams with the Ravennas and Kearney Catholics. Adams Central was still in the conference.
“St. Paul, Centura and Arcadia/Loup City have had good runs recently. We want to get consistently competitive. That’s our first goal — to be competitive night-in and night-out.”