Kilby resigns as Shawnee boys' basketball coach

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Coach Paxton Kilby (center) goes over strategy with the Shawnee High School boys' basketball team during the area tournament this past season at Tulsa Kelley. Kilby has resigned as the Wolves' coach to become an assistant at Harrah.

After just one season at the helm and guiding the Shawnee High School boys' basketball team to the Class 5A State Tournament, Paxton Kilby has resigned.

“I have loved Shawnee. The kids have been great to work with. It is a fantastic administration and the co-workers have been great,” Kilby said. “It came down to wanting to have more time with my family and my house is in Harrah.”

Kilby has accepted the position of assistant boys' coach at Harrah High School where he will also teach special education.

“It's something I have always wanted to do (teach special ed), but couldn't do in the past,” said Kilby. “Being an assistant coach is a little freeing as I can have more family time,”

Kilby and his wife Sadie have two young sons, who were often seen at the Wolves' games this past season.

Another benefit to accepting the Harrah position is that Kilby will not only work alongside Panther head coach Chad Rochelle on the court, but they will work together on the academic side as Rochelle is also a special ed teacher. In fact, their classrooms will be next door to each other.

“He and I have been good friends for a while,” Kilby said.

Kilby says he will always feel close to the players he coached this past year.

“This doesn't change that I still love them to death. It was simply a family decision,” said Kilby. “I plan to have a lifelong relationship with those guys and help them any way I can down the road.”

Under Kilby's direction, the Wolves finished 16-7 in 2020-21 and reached the state tournament before falling to eventual state finalist Lawton MacArthur in the first round.

Shawnee achieved numerous successes in 2020-21, including a championship of the Ada Tournament, and going on a six-game winning streak at one point. Kilby is an Ada High School alum.

Kilby came to Shawnee after serving as an assistant at a successful program at Latta High School. He took over the Wolves' program from longtime head coach Ron Arthur, who now serves as assistant director of athletics at SHS. Arthur had guided Shawnee to qualification for the 2020 state tournament which wasn't played due to the pandemic.

The Wolves' new head coach will have two returning starters in seniors Tanner Morris and Jaylon Orange next season.