GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Cornerstone University men's basketball coach Kim Elders is one of the winningest coaches in NAIA history already.
Now in his 28th season at the helm for the Golden Eagles, he'll have a chance to pick up win No. 700 this Friday night when Cornerstone hosts St. Xavier of Illinois at Mol Arena.
"It's hard to believe, that's 30 years of a lot of basketball," Elders smiled.
Elders already sits in the NAIA Hall of Fame, he has three national championships, three NAIA coach of the year awards, and the list goes on.
Now, he's getting to set to cross yet another accolade off the list, which would make him the third active NAIA men's basketball coach with over 700 wins.
"It's been a phenomenal ride," Elders said, "the coaching staff I've had work for me has been excellent, the players I've had play for me have been tremendous players, not only in ability but in character."
And Coach Elders says he's never wanted to coach at a higher level.
"This is what makes small college basketball so fun, these kids are really down to earth, they work hard and they do what you want them to do," he added.
Over the past three decades, Elders has built the Golden Eagles program into a perennial winner at the NAIA level. In fact, NorthPointe Christian alum and senior guard Tyler Baker says he's the main reason why he chose Cornerstone.
"The culture of the program he created and the success he's had is one of the biggest reasons why I chose Cornerstone," Baker said.
While coach says he understands how much has gone into the 700 wins, it's not something he's actively thinking about and isn't focused on the personal accolades.
"One game at a time," he laughed, "I'm a pretty typical coach, that's all we're looking at, even with Friday night, just one at a time."
Elders says his family is who he has to thank most for their constant support of his passion for coaching.
The Golden Eagles will have two chances to get the monumental win for Coach Elders this weekend in the Cornerstone Classic.
"It's really special," Baker added, "it just shows the players he's had and what he's done with this program is unbelievable. I'm just happy I get to be a part of his 700th win."
Elders did finally admit that he is proud of the accomplishment as it fast approaches.
"I'm pretty proud of it, but it's the guys that have done it for me, I give God the glory, too," he added.
Harry Statham of McKendree University holds the NAIA record with 1,101 men's basketball wins but Coach Elders says he doesn't think he'll be coaching for another 402 victories.
"People ask me that a lot," he laughed, "I always say maybe five more years, but who knows, God willing," he added.