Koelbl leaving Lax

More news about: UW-La Crosse
Ken Koelbl won 201 games in his 14-year career at UW-La Crosse, second most in program history.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com


After 15 seasons as the head men's basketball coach at UW-La Crosse, Ken Koelbl has decided to step down. The University will name an interim coach for the upcoming season and then conduct a search for a permanent replacement at the end of the season.

Koelbl will remain with the university in a full-time position in its admissions office where he has worked since 2003.

"I understand the timing is not right for this position, but it was right for me," said Koelbl in the university's release.  "I've really enjoyed my time coaching basketball at UW-La Crosse.  This is a great university with a fantastic athletic program.  The relationships built and the friendships formed are irreplaceable."

Koelbl was named head coach at UW-La Crosse after working as an assistant coach for eight seasons at UW-Stevens Point, first under Bob Parker and then Jack Bennett. In 2003 Koelbl was named head coach at UW-La Crosse. He went 201-161 during his 14 seasons with the Eagles. The Eagles' best season under Koelbl came in 2005-06 when La Crosse went 20-8, 10-6 in the WIAC. The Eagles made the 2006 NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection and lost to Calvin 79-71 in the first round.

More recenty Koelbl led the Eagles to a conference title in 2015-16, the school's first in men's basketball since 1965. The Eagles lost to UW-River Falls in the WIAC tournament and did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

"We have worked extremely hard to make UW-La Crosse basketball a highly competitive program along with a special place to continue an athletic career," said Koelbl in the release.  "I am proud of what has been accomplished.  There are always things you would change, but I have no regrets.  I believe in leaving something better than when you got it.  We have done that.  This program is in a good position with some very talented student-athletes who are hungry to accomplish more."

UW-La Crosse finished 14-13, 5-9 in the WIAC last season.