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Rohrbach stepping down at Aberdeen Christian

Aberdeen Christian boys basketball coach David Rohrbach, right, talks to his team during a time out in this past season's Region 1B SoDak 16 qualifier game in Webster. Rohrbach has announced he is stepping down from his position at the school. Photo by John Davis taken 3/4/2022

Aberdeen Christian boys’ basketball coach and athletic director David Rohrbach is stepping down from his positions at the school.

Rohrbach has served as the AD at the school for eight years and has been the boys’ basketball coach for the past seven years.

He guided the Knights to the past three State B basketball tournaments where they finished runner-up in 2021. The team is set to return all of its players from this past season.

“Obviously, a really difficult decision. It’s been a really fun seven years coaching. I think the program and the school is in a really healthy place, talent-wise,” Rohrbach said. “Coming off of three straight trips to state and then just looking at who we bring back, the whole team coming back, makes it even tougher. The guys are incredibly talented and as talented as they are, they’re that good of guys on and off the court.”

Rohrbach informed the players of his decision on Sunday evening. He said telling them of his intentions was very difficult.

“It was a pretty quiet room when I told them. It was a difficult conversation. It was a sad time, a lot tears, from myself, the other coaches, and from the guys,” Rohrbach said. “You become family when you coach these guys for so long and you’re in the trenches with them. Basketball is such a big part of your life. It’s a year-round sport, really. You’re just so invested and a part of their lives.”

In additional to being the athletic director and head boys’ basketball coach, Rohrbach also teaches physical education classes at the school. In year’s past he also served as the track and field coach, and also the golf coach. He said at a small school it can be a pretty demanding schedule.

Still, returning the entire squad of what will likely be a state championship contending basketball squad was not an easy thing to walk away from.

“Giving up a team that could contend for a state championship next year, you have a ton of seniors which is a lot of times what you’re building for and you’re bringing up a loaded bench as well, there’s talent coming up,” Rohrbach said, “it was a stressful decision and one that I spent a lot of sleepless nights over.”

Rohrbach thanked his assistant coaches Jerrod Becker and Sam Palmer for their contributions to the team. He said they put in a lot of time working with the boys.

“They put so much in,” Rohrbach said. “They donated their salaries back to the program every year.”

Rohrbach isn’t sure if the boys’ coach and athletic director positions will be connected at the school in the future. In the past year, the school has now had to replace every head coaching position in its program and earlier this year, Superintendent Eric Kline announced that he will be leaving the school for a business opportunity in Sioux Falls.

As for Rohrbach, he said he is unsure what will happen next, but said he would like to stay in coaching.

“At some point I’d like to coach again,” he said. “I guess I’m a coach at heart, but we’ll see what doors open up and we’ll see what happens.”

During his tenure at the school, Rohrbach guided the Knights to conference championships in addition to the state tournaments, setting school records for wins along the way. While he will always remember those accomplishments, he pointed to something else that he will recall the most.

“The biggest thing is just the relationships. Those memories,” Rohrbach said. “It’s always the relationships that you remember the most.”

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