Leaving A Legacy: A look at the career of Kirby Dean

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Kirby Dean has coached and won more games than anyone in the history of Eastern Mennonite men's basketball, but the 15-year veteran has seen his final contest on the sideline at EMU.

Dean announced his decision to step down as head coach in early January. He coached through the end of the 2017-2018 season before bringing an end to his career leading the Runnin' Royals.

The EMU program was coming off a 3-22 record when Dean took the reigns prior to the 2003-2004 season. He soon turned Eastern Mennonite into a nationally-recognized team. Of EMU's seven seasons with 15 wins or more, six came during Dean's tenure. He's also the only coach to lead the program to a twenty-win season, which he did twice (2009-2010 & 2010-2011).

Dean's best team came during the 2009-2010 season when EMU went 25-5 overall and won the ODAC regular season championship. That same squad advanced to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight and finished the season ranked #4 in the nation.

In 15 seasons at Eastern Mennonite, Dean compiled an overall record of 201-195. However, his greatest impact came in changing the culture of the program and acting as a mentor to his players, both on and off the court.

Dean's long-time assistant, Melvin Felix, has been hired to take over as Eastern Mennonite's head coach.

Dean cited family reasons for making the 2017-18 season his last as head coach. He now serves as director of parks and recreation for Rockingham County.