New Girls Basketball Coach


Ethan Divis

A changing of the guard has occurred for the Kennedy girls’ varsity team. Tony Vis from Harlan High School has been hired as the new girls’ head coach. He plans on moving to Cedar Rapids Vis had an career record of 120-46 in seven years at Harlan.

“I was very excited for the opportunity to teach and coach at a school with the prestigious reputation of CR Kennedy,” Vis said in an e-mail interview with The Torch. “I was very impressed with the excellence that Cedar Rapids Kennedy stands for in the academic and athletic arenas, as well as the staff and students I was able to interact with prior to my official decision.”

Vis will be replacing former head coach Dennis Roloff who compiled a record of 314-165 in 21 years as the head coach for Kennedy with five trips to the state tournament, in two of them they advanced to the state semi-final. “It will be tough to replace an outstanding coach like Coach Roloff, but I will have to be my own person and try not to replicate him. I hope I can continue to meet the lofty future expectations as well as continue the strong past excellence of the program,” Vis said.

Vis will take control of a very young Cougar squad, who in the past season started two sophomores, Madi Meier and Paige Hendrickson, along with freshmen Stephanie Botkin. “I know this program has strong young athletes who will be prepared to be competitive in a challenging league.” Vis said. “I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen next season,” Meier said

Strategy is a major part of coaching as well. “I like to be a very aggressive team on both on offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Offensively, we will attack the rim, take the open three and push the ball down the floor. On the defensive side, we will extend our defense and play an aggressive, trapping style. We will hopefully be able to give teams multiple defensive looks that take away their primary options,” Vis said.

The MVC conference is considered one of the top conferences in the state of Iowa for girls basketball. “My immediate expectations for the team include to put forth great effort this summer in preparing to be the best team we can be for the 2012-13 season. I want them to enjoy the game of basketball, to be team oriented, and to build strong relationships with athletes and parents at Kennedy,” Vis said. Kennedy went 13-10 last year. “some of the biggest challenge for next year will include the challenge of playing in the premiere conference in Iowa, learning the strengths of weakness of our players as well as integrating our style of play.”

Vis will have the challenge of competing in an extremely tough conference, but looks to shape the Kennedy program. “My expectations moving forward are to be one of the elite programs in the state of Iowa.”