Adam Dennis (right), shown during a game earlier this season, resigned as head coach at Switzerland County after six years on the job. (Courier file photo by David Campbell)
Adam Dennis (right), shown during a game earlier this season, resigned as head coach at Switzerland County after six years on the job. (Courier file photo by David Campbell)
The tenure of Adam Dennis as head boys basketball coach at Switzerland County has come to an end after six years on the job.

Dennis resigned on March 12, shortly after the season ended. A Switzerland County graduate, Dennis had been coaching at the school for 15 years and said the decision to walk away was not an easy one.

“It’s something that I’ve been praying about for a while. I think God was asking me to give something up and basketball was it,” Dennis said. “This is my 15th year, my sixth year as head coach, and I kind of think that it might be time for a different voice.”

Dennis was on the bench as an assistant for three different head coaches, working with David Todd, Brian Bowen and B.J. McAlister. When McAlister resigned after the 2013-14 season to head to New Albany as an assistant, Dennis was the easy choice to replace him.

After going 10-14 in his first year and 8-16 in year two, the Pacers had their best season under Dennis in year three, going 14-9 and winning an Ohio River Valley Conference title.

The last three years have been a struggle for the Swiss at times, dipping to 6-18 this past season. But despite the record, the Pacers were highly competitive, losing five games by four points or less and were outscored by only five points on the season. However, Switzerland ended the season on a nine-game losing streak.

“Especially the back half of the season was really weird. It was like we were playing well enough to win games, it just wouldn’t happen,” Dennis said. “We would lead the whole game and a kid would hit a shot at the buzzer. I don’t know that I would say that it wore on me. I think it was more of a thing where I’ve grown a lot in the past year and a half. For a long time, basketball was the most important thing in my life and I think God was asking me to change that a little bit.”

Switzerland County Athletic Director Mark Boggs, who has been friends with Dennis for decades, said he was sad to see his coach move on and that he meant more to the program than simply wins and losses.

“He is a good coach but a better person. We will miss him on the sidelines,” said Boggs, who is also the girls basketball coach at the school. “He taught his players so much more than basketball. He was influential in so many ways. He required his players to maintain passing grades, higher than what the IHSAA requires. He was adamant at molding adolescents into successful citizens after high school. A true servant leader.”

“Basketball is a tool to teach high school kids how to be successful afterwards and how to be disciplined and live a good life. We tried really hard to do that,” Dennis said. “I hope our kids walk away and have that feeling that we tried really hard for them and tried to give them the character tools that they needed.”

For now, Dennis will remain at the school as a teacher but he hasn’t ruled out a return to the sidelines. For now, he’s just going to see where life takes him.

“I would like to thank Mark (Boggs), David (Todd), Brian Bowen and B.J. McAlister as well as everybody else who made my dream of being the boys basketball coach at Switzerland County possible,” Dennis said.