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Oviedo’s Kershner to Return for 2016-17

June 9, 2016
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Two weeks after completing his 44th season as a high school basketball head coach last February, Ed Kershner acknowledged he was contemplating full retirement.

But here we are in June and Kershner, the winningest coach in Florida prep basketball history, was back in the gym hosting a team camp at Oviedo last week.

Kershner, who is retired from teaching, said on Thursday he will return to coach for what will be his 21st year at Ovedo and 45th as a head coach.

He does so with a career record of 880 wins and 375 losses, which ranks No. 3 among active coaches in the sport according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

“I’m up for another season,” Kershner said on Thursday. “I always at the end of the year look at it and try to evaluate. I’m blessed that I have the energy, the family backs me on that, and (Oviedo) still wants me.”

Oviedo went 18-12 last season and returns its four of its five leading scorers in rising senior guard Ivan Smith (19.9 points per game), Devon Knaub, Earl Baker, and promising rising sophomore prospect Morgan Mitchell.

“We’re really small. We can really shoot. We’re just going to have to come up with some different ways to play,” Kershner said.

The active coaching wins leader is New Jersey legend Bob Hurley, who has a record of 1,162-118 at St. Anthony’s of Jersey City after going 32-0 this year.

Tony Harper of El Paso Cathedral in Texas ranks second with a 978-421 record.

Kershner’s record in 20 years at Oviedo is 443-150, an average mark of 22-8 per season. He said getting to 900 wins is not the goal he is focusing on.

“That would be nice, but it’s way in the back of my mind,” Kershner said. “Those are things you think about when you’re done.

“What you accomplish and how much better your team gets, that’s what’s important. We’ve got the kids in three more camps this month at Rollins, Master’s Academy and UCF. We’re trying to get better.”

Buddy Collings is a senior sports writer covering high schools for the Orlando Sentinel. He is a former correspondent for USA Today, the longtime keeper of state prep records, and teamed with Bill Buchalter to choose Florida's all-time football team for Sports Illustrated. Buddy is a UF grad and a fan of any sport his kids are playing

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