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Woodlan girls basketball coach stepping back

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Follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blakesebring and at his blog www.tailingthekomets.com.

Burns-Cohrs looking at options after 26 years

Monday, June 24, 2013 - 2:41 am

Long-time Woodlan girls basketball coach Tonya Burns-Cohrs has announced she will not be renewing her contract after 13 years with the Warriors and 26 years overall as a head girls basketball coach.

Burns-Cohrs ranks ninth all-time on the Northeast Indiana list for career girls basketball coaching wins with 219. She coached North Side for 13 seasons before moving to Woodlan in 2000.

``I don't look at it as retirement,'' Burns-Cohrs said. ``I feel like God is leading me in another direction. I am stepping back and I'm ready to explore some other opportunities that are out there. I've coached basketball for more than half my life, and I think I still have plenty of gifts to give other people.''

She'll continue as a physical education teacher at Woodlan

``I am leaving a big blessing to whoever takes over because they are getting a great group of seniors, just a great group of kids from freshmen on up and even the younger kids I have had in camps and leagues,'' she said. ``That was the hardest thing, giving those girls up.''

Burns-Cohrs was also one of the area's all-time best as a player.

During her high school career, Burns scored 1,059 points and grabbed 785 rebounds before she graduated in 1981 and was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Then she played at Iowa State where she finished with 33 records, including 42 points in a game, 23 rebounds in a game, career scoring with 1,789 points and career rebounding with 921. She was as three-time all-Big Eight selection. She scored double digits in 92 of her 114 games.

Burns-Cohrs became the first Iowa State women's basketball player to have her number retired, which was announced at the post-season team banquet after her senior year in 1985. She was inducted into the Iowa State Hall of Fame in 2000.

Following her career at ISU, she played one year of professional basketball for the Virginia Express of the NWBA professional league.