Sehome girls basketball coach Kim Kirk decided to step down from the program following the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, Mariners athletic director Colin Cushman said on Thursday.
“She’s done an awesome job for us,” Cushman said. “Her son is getting to the age where it’s difficult to put in the time necessary to run a high school program, and she didn’t want to take attention away from her family. I totally get it.”
Kirk, who will continue as a Social Studies teacher at Sehome and has served as an assistant on Jim Emerson’s softball coaching staff, has led the girls basketball program since 2008, though she’s been associated with the program since she was a sophomore at Western Washington University in 1996. She served as an assistant for 12 seasons under coaches Rick Harden, Mike McKee, Cushman and Ed Wissing.
Since taking over as head coach in 2008, Kirk and the Mariners almost always found themselves in the thick of the playoff push, even though her teams often were built around players that were not “basketball-first” athletes who had come up through the youth ranks together.
She compiled a 95-119 record (0.444 win percentage) during nine years at the helm, guiding Sehome to the district tournament six times, winning at least one postseason game each time. The Mariners twice reached the regional round of the Class 2A State Tournament under Kirk, losing 51-37 to Sammamish in 2015 and 35-33 to White River in 2012.
Last season, Sehome tied for seventh in the Northwest Conference and advanced within one win of playing for a trip to state in the bi-district tournament, before finishing with a 13-10 mark.
Cushman said the school is accepting applications for the vacant position.
“Depending on who we hire, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kim is still somehow involved with the program,” Cushman said. “I know how much she loves to coach, and she’ll probably find it hard to stay away.”