Dennis Roloff steps down at Mount Vernon

Girls' basketball: In 25 seasons overall, he won 396 games

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MOUNT VERNON — This time, Dennis Roloff is going out on his own terms.

Just four victories short of the 400-win plateau, Roloff announced his retirement as girls’ basketball coach at Mount Vernon High School on Wednesday.

“I’ll miss the X’s and O’s, and I’ll miss the girls,” Roloff said. “I’ve had a great career and met a lot of great people.”

Roloff, 63, finishes with a 25-year mark of 396-204. He took seven teams to the state tournament.

The majority of his career was spent at Cedar Rapids Kennedy, where he took five teams to state before being let go in 2012.

Shortly after that, Roloff was hired at Mount Vernon. In five years there, he was 82-39 — including 17-7 last season — with state appearances in 2015 and 2016.

“We are super thankful for where he took this program,” Mount Vernon Athletics Director Matt Thede said. “He could have been selfish and stayed another year just for the sake of getting his 400th win, but he wasn’t. He felt it was time, and he made his decision for all the right reasons.”

Roloff told Thede his intention to step down Friday, then shared it with his team Wednesday afternoon.

“Silly reasons, I guess,” said Roloff, who still lives in Cedar Rapids. “The cost of gas, after a while, it adds up.

“I made up my mind (Friday), and it’s a weight off my shoulders, but in time I know I’m going to miss it like crazy. I’ve loved working with the young ladies, seeing them improve, knowing that they’ve had a good experience.”

Thede said he will post the position Thursday.

“I feel really good with where this program is at,” Thede said. “Whomever comes in next will be in good position because of where Denny left it.”

Roloff said he is interested in serving as an assistant coach somewhere, but that his head-coaching days are behind him.

“If I still wanted to be a head coach, I’d have stayed here,” he said.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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