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Shiloh tabs hoops coach

After 14 years as a successful basketball coach in Maryland, Kim Rivers was looking for a new challenge and a chance to be closer to his family.

He found both in Snellville.

Rivers was named Shiloh's head boys basketball coach Thursday, replacing Don Einolf, who stepped down in February after three seasons.

"Winning five state championships has brought me a lot of accolades," Rivers said. "When I remarried last year, my wife and I wanted to move South and when the Shiloh position opened it seemed like a good fit. My brother lives in the area, so I wanted to be close to his family."

Rivers takes over a Shiloh program that went 9-16 last season after reaching the state playoffs the previous four seasons.

"I think one of my best assets is I'm a good teacher of the game and a great motivator," Rivers said. "If they play hard, play smart and play together we'll be fine."

Rivers said he looks forward to moving closer to his brother, who lives in the Shiloh district, and coaching his nephew, Kevin Haynes, who was on the Generals' freshman team last season.

After winning a high school state championship at Wyandanch (N.Y.) High School as a player, Rivers went onto William Jewell College. Rivers was an NAIA All-American at William Jewell and then played three years professionally in Australia.

Rivers began coaching at Randallstown in 1994 and the following year he led the Rams to a state championship. He went onto lead Randallstown to state titles in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 and state finals appearances in 1997, 2000, and 2008.

"He's got a 315-50 record, five state championship, just came off a state finals appearance, I mean you couldn't ask for anything more," Shiloh athletic director Derek Bowen said. "He's just a fantastic role model and a great character guy. He's driven to succeed. It came out great for Shiloh."

Rivers' teams have reached 11 Final Fours and won 21 or more games in 12 seasons. Rivers said the liked to play pressure defense and a run and gun style offense.

"I like to do a lot of up and down game," Rivers said. "I try to play more of a college type game to get my players ready for the next level."

Rivers said he had at least eight former players play Division I college basketball last season and he coached former Georgia player Levi Stukes.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to play bigger schools like Norcross and South Gwinnett and the premier programs in Atlanta," Rivers said. "I don't expect to come in and win a state title my first year, but once we get things established I expect great things to come out of Shiloh."

SideBar: The Rivers File

· Name: Kim Rivers

· New position: Head boys basketball coach at Shiloh High School

· Former position: Head boys basketball coach at Randallstown (Md.) High School

· Age: 46

· Career record: 315-50

· Education: Graduated from Wyandanch (N.Y.) High School in 1981; graduated from William Jewel College in Missouri in 1987 with a degree in physical education and recreation

· Background: Was an NAIA All-American at William Jewel College; played three years professionally in Melbourne, Australia; began coaching at Randallstown (Md.) high school in 1994; Led Randallstown to eight state finals appearances, including five state titles; Led team to Final Four in 11 of 14 years at Randallstown and 12 21-win seasons

· Family: Wife Patina; daughter Kimberleigh, 14