Jim Strode has stepped down after six seasons as Worthington Kilbourne High School girls basketball coach after accepting a job with Ohio University.

“I am excited to start a new chapter in my life, but it’s very difficult to give up coaching,” Strode said. “I have accepted a sports administration position in the college of business at Ohio University and I will be the chair there and also an associate professor. I was going to try to live in Columbus and commute to be able to continue coaching, but after deliberating, I decided that wouldn’t be fair to Ohio University or to Kilbourne.”

Strode compiled a 69-70 record at Kilbourne, including a 10-13 mark this past season. He guided the team to double-digit wins four times. Prior to his arrival, the Wolves had posted double-digit wins just three times.

In 2014-15, Kilbourne set the program record for victories by finishing 16-7.

“We’re obviously very sad to lose (Strode), but also happy for him professionally,” athletics director Jeff Todd said. “He contributed a lot to the girls basketball program and he has wonderful relationships with the girls and their families.”

Strode, who coached the only two 1,000-point scorers in Kilbourne history in 2018 graduate Maggie Crozier and 2014 graduate Kayla Pack, spent 15 seasons as a head coach, including five at Centennial and four at Bexley.

“I’ve been coaching for 19 consecutive seasons and it’s something I truly love,” Strode said. “It is bittersweet, but I am so thankful and appreciative of the Kilbourne personnel and community and the girls bought in from day one. I think I’m leaving the program better than when I got here. We started two exceptional freshmen and a sophomore this season and I think that’s going to pique the interest of a lot of good coaching candidates.”

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek