COLBY — Colby Community College men’s basketball coach Rusty Grafel submitted his resignation after accepting a position with the Texas Tech University men’s basketball program. He notified the Board of Trustees at the June 17 meeting.
“Everything in life starts with a foundation,” Grafel said. “And without a foundation, it’s not possible to build anything special. The foundation of this program was laid far before me, and I’m beyond honored I could be part of adding to it and passing it on.”
Grafel came to Colby in 2009 and served as an assistant before being named head coach in 2012. He hired his brother Egan as the associate head coach, and over the next seven seasons compiled the most wins in program history with a record of 104-116.
“To all the Trojan fans, there is not a community and support system that is better,” he said. “You have opened your wallets, doors to your home, and hearts to a small town man from Oberlin. It’s been a dream come true to coach in front of family and friends, have Egan along side of me, and call Colby home!”
Grafel played at Hutchinson Community College and helped the Blue Dragons to a Jayhawk West championship in 2004. He transferred to Fort Hays State where he played three years for the Tigers and was part of the 2006 Rocky Mountain Athletic Association championship team that was ranked No. 1 in the nation. After graduating, he stayed at Fort Hays State and began his coaching career as an assistant in the men’s program until he joined the Trojans staff in 2009.
“I never thought I would have been back in northwest Kansas after college,” he said. “To say it was a blessing when Dustin Pfeifer called and asked me to be a part of the Trojan family is an understatement. What this college, community, athletes, and people of Colby gave me can’t be put in words, and I will forever be grateful.”
Interviews for the vacated position are complete, and CCC expects to announce a new head coach by the end of the week.