BRITT, Iowa – West Hancock Girls’ Basketball Coach Paul Sonius reached a milestone in his coaching career last night; becoming only the 80th, 13th still active, coach in IGHSAU history to reach 400 wins. Sonius reached the milestone last night with a 77-43 win over Garner-Hayfield-Ventura.
Sonius is in his 31st year as a head coach and 13th at West Hancock. He spent his first 18 years at CWL racking up a 182-198 record. Sonius took over the West Hancock program before the 2007-2008 season, and since then, he has accumulated a 218-73 record. He has guided the Eagles to their only three state tournament appearances in 5-on-5 basketball; finishing as the Class 1A Runners-Up last year, the best finish in school history. The Eagles made the state field in back to back years, 2011 (1A) and 2012 (2A). Britt made the state tournament in 1980 lead by first-team all-state selection, Karrie Wallen, they returned again in 1982.
Long-time assistant coach, Kevin Wilson, Wilson was the head coach for West Hancock before Coach Sonius arrived.
What has been the coaches favorite memories
Coach Sonius has coached seven different, 11 altogether all-state players through his first 12 full-seasons at the helm. Four of those players have been selected in multiple years, and two of them, junior, Rachel Leerar and senior, Amanda Chizek, have a chance to become, not only coach Sonius’s first three-time all-staters but West Hancock’s first.
Wilson on why Sonius has had the success he has had.
Most teams have only played five games or less in the 2019-2020 season, but Paul Sonius is not the only coach to have reached 400 wins this year. Earlier this year Gene Rasmussen also reached the milestone while coaching for IKM-Manning.
Gene Klinge is the all-time winnest coach in Iowa history. He coached 52 years racking up a 1009-252 record for West Central Maynard and Waukon.
Coach Sonius joins five other coaches who spent time in the KIOW listening area and have reached 400 victories including, John Schoenfelter – Leland, Clutier, Don Peterson – North Kossuth, Lakota, Howard Dorman – Belmond, Woden-Crystal Lake, Les Lammers – Ledyard, and Bryce Wickett – Luverne
The Eagles will take the court again on Friday against North Union. That game can be heard on the home and away “voice” of the Eagles, b103. The game can be heard and watched worldwide at KIOW.com.
Zarren Egesdal is the Sports Director at KIOW/KHAM.
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Photo credit: West Hancock Community Schools