After 30 years of teaching and coaching basketball at Dodge City High School, Dennis Hamilton is retiring. Hamilton is stepping aside from his duties as both a P.E. teacher and head boys’ basketball coach at the end of the current school year. He will do so as the winningest head basketball coach in the 112 year history of Red Demon basketball.

J.C. Riekenberg hired Dennis Hamilton as the head boys’ basketball coach in the summer of 1987. Hamilton, a 1976 graduate of DCHS, was the head coach at Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, Okla., before returning to his alma mater. His first team at Dodge City finished 19-4, complete with a WAC championship and the first trip to state for the Red Demons in seven years. Hamilton would lead the Red Demons to 13 state basketball tournaments over the course of his career at DCHS. He would also coach his teams to 8 WAC titles, including four in a row from 2010-13. His career record at DCHS was 418-251 — 258 more wins than second place on the list, Laurence Stanton.

At the 2004 6A state tournament in Emporia, the Red Demons played for a State Title versus Olathe South — finishing the season as state runners-up with a record of 22-3. The Red Demons reached the semifinals of the state tournament six times with Hamilton as the head coach, an accomplishment the program had only reached twice before 1987.

“This is possibly one of the hardest things I have had to do in my professional life, as being a Red Demon is all my family and I have known for the majority of my adult life,” Hamilton said. “I can’t thank the administration enough for all the support and allowing me to run the Red Demon basketball program.”

The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.