For the better part of four decades, Ridley lacrosse has been synonymous with the Ellers name. Monday, the page on that dynasty turned.
Kevin Ellers announced his resignation as the boys lacrosse coach at his alma mater, ending a span of 13 seasons as head coach and 22 on the staff.
“I believe it is time for new leadership to take over and continue the Ridley lacrosse tradition of excellence,” Ellers said in a district statement. “This has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some great players, parents, and coaches here at Ridley High School. Saying goodbye to my returning players is the hardest part of all of this, though I know they will succeed. I will miss the daily contact in the season with some of the finest student athletes and just great individuals here at Ridley.”
Ellers took over for his father, Doug, during the 2003 season and piloted the Green Raiders to a 196-70 record. His winning percentage of .740 outstrips his father’s, who posted a 300-114 mark (.720 percentage) from 1981-2003. Doug has long served as an assistant on Kevin’s staff.
Kevin Ellers stepped in for his father during the 2003 season and helped lead the Green Raiders to the Eastern Pennsylvania Lacrosse Association and Keystone Cup title that year, the program’s third straight championship in both.
The program had fallen on comparatively hard times in recent years. Ridley was eliminated from the District One tournament in the second round four straight years from 2012-15. It endured an 8-11 campaign in 2016, losing in the first round of districts to Penncrest. Ridley hasn’t won a Central League title since 2008 and hasn’t made the PIAA tournament since 2011.
Ellers was an outstanding player during his Ridley career, earning All-America recognition in 1987 and 1988. He was the three-time Central League MVP and remains seventh on the all-time Pennsylvania scoring list.
Ellers will continue as a teacher at Ridley, per district superintendent Lee Ann Wentzel.