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Elison resigns as Cedar basketball coach
by Tom Zulewski Iron County Today
May 18, 2017 | 245 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When John Elison arrived at Cedar High to coach the girls basketball team 10 years ago, it didn’t have a lot of success to build from. In his first season as the varsity coach, the Lady Reds won a grand total of two games.

Through all the building and with the team’s first trip to a 3A state title game on the books, the leader of the Lady Reds felt it was time to move on.

Elison announced his resignation as Cedar’s head coach last week after 10 seasons to accept a math teaching position in Vernal at a middle school there. In an exclusive interview with Iron County Today, Elison said the move was made necessary when his wife, Kami – who worked alongside as an assistant coach with the team – lost her teaching position for an online school program that was discontinued.

“We didn’t want to leave. We figured we’d die in the house we were in,” Elison said. “It’s been difficult, but our kids have been good about it.”

Despite an overtime loss to Richfield in this year’s 3A quarterfinals, Elison leaves with a truckload of memories, a career record of 147-84 (.636 winning percentage), and a Region 9 title in 2014.

By far, Elison’s favorite moment from his time on the bench came two seasons ago. Before a packed house at the Centrum, the Lady Reds got by Carbon in the final second on a Jessica Whetman layup, 54-53, to earn the chance to play for the 3A championship for the first time in school history.

“The gym just went wild and it was an exciting time,” Elison said. “The climb in the 10-year span has been phenomenal. It’s been a great run.”

Elison said he has no plans to do any coaching in Vernal for the foreseeable future.

“It seems kind of weird to say,” he said. “As much as I love basketball, as much as I wanted to get into this when I began, we’re living in a day and age where there’s so many things that pull against you. There are so many negative things going on behind the scenes, you just get tired of dealing with them. I love the game and I love to help the kids, but at the end of the day, it starts to wear on you.”

Elison coached his oldest daughter, Maisie, through her senior season in 2017. She finished the year averaging six points per game and 5.5 rebounds and plans to go on an LDS Church mission. His second daughter, Taylee, finished her freshman season with the Lady Reds.

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