Basketball coach Rod Briggs steps down to 'help all programs at Truman'

By Bill Althaus
The Examiner
Truman head coach Rod Briggs (kneeling) talks with his team during a game in the 2019-20 season. Briggs is stepping down as a head coach for the Patriots to become an assistant principal and activities director at Pioneer Ridge Middle School.

After five seasons at Truman High School and the last 15 as a head coach, Rod Briggs is hanging up his whistle. 

Briggs, who helped create a new basketball culture for the Truman boys program, has resigned as head coach to take over as an assistant principal and activities director at Pioneer Ridge Middle School, which feeds all Patriots athletic programs. 

"We hate to lose Rod as a coach because of his passion for his players and his program," Truman activities director Daniel Bieser said Monday. "But we don't look at this as though we are losing a basketball coach – we are gaining someone whose passion for all sports at Pioneer Ridge will make all of our Truman programs that much stronger." 

Briggs did not inherit much talent when he took over the program seven years ago, going 2-24 in that first season that featured so many growing pains. 

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But that season did not discourage a coach who had enjoyed so much success while coaching in Kansas. The past three years his Patriot teams have been 48-30 and he has sent seven players to play collegiately, including Kaimen Lennox, a 2019-20 all-state selection and the Examiner Co-Player of the Year. 

"I'm proud of what we accomplished at Truman," Briggs said. "We knew we were going to be young early on, and that it would take a while for some talented players to come up from our middle school, and when they arrived, we started enjoying some success. 

"And the last three years have been so much fun watching those young players grow and develop and become a part of the Truman basketball culture." 

Briggs was 54-66 overall at Truman after spending 10 years at Lansing (Kan.) High School, where he guided that program to a 156-68 record, six state tournament appearances in seven seasons, four straight state final four appearances, two state championship game appearances and one undefeated state title (25-0 in 2014). 

"Rod is a great coach with a lot of passion, and we're going to miss that,” Bieser said. “We listed the head coaching job on Friday and will look both internally and externally for a new head coach. We're expecting to get some resumes from some quality coaches." 

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Briggs had no plans of leaving Truman until he saw the job opening at Pioneer Ridge. 

"I had an opportunity like this several years ago, but I wanted to keep coaching," Briggs said. "This time, well, the timing was right. I want to help all programs at Truman, not just basketball and football. I want to help track and field and cross country and all sports. I want to get Pioneer Ridge students excited about sports and excited about playing at Truman and I think I can do that. 

"And I'm looking forward to working with Daniel. He is a great AD and I think we can really work well together."